THE Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has said the proliferation of electoral disinformation, misinformation and weaponisation of fake news, pose threat to the legitimacy of Nigeria’s 2023 polls.
CDD’s Executive Director, Idayat Hassan, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
She noted that fake news and disinformation have the potential to fragment the country further and skew the electoral outcome.
According to her, this development could play a part in affecting the legitimacy of the elections and the leaders who emerge from the process.
“In line with some of the findings outlined in the analysis, the CDD, therefore, charges political actors to desist from promoting political violence, which is inimical to Nigeria’s development.
“CDD notes that the current nature of campaigning is cause for concern. The period has been dominated by a proliferation of electoral disinformation, misinformation and the weaponisation of fake news.
“This rising trend poses the biggest threat to the peaceful pre- and post-election conduct of the elections.
“In recent years, CDD has increasingly raised concerns on the potentially disruptive influence of disinformation on elections. The Centre has noted the common forms of disinformation in elections include the dissemination of false information to discredit political opponents or to influence voters and the voting process.
“These in addition to the falsification and/or manipulation of contents, polling data, de-legitimisation of electoral institutions, including INEC, the Nigeria Police and other state agencies,” she said.
Hassan maintained that the spread and impact of disinformation is a global concern and a threat to the sustainability of democracy globally.
She expressed optimism that the participation of all the 18 registered political parties in the signing of the National Peace Accord shows a commitment by politicians to addressing this issue.