Centre Tasks Traditional, Religious Institutions on Hate-Speech

By Richard P. Ngbokai, Kano 

Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in collaboration with MacArthur foundation has called on religious and traditional rulers in the country to intensify efforts in sensitizing people against hate speech and other hateful conduct against fellow Nigerians be it on the basis of religion or ethnicity.

The curbing-hate-speech project coordinator, CITAD, Malam Hamza Ibrahim made the call today in Kano during a press briefing about the outcome of their monthly survey of hateful conduct of Nigerians against one another on the cyberspace.

He said 175 hate speeches were recorded in May, with over twenty-eight (28%) percent of such speeches being faith based in which either Muslims were attacking Christians or Christians targeting Muslims.

He urged the leaders to preach tolerance to their followers saying “hate speech brews violence and enmity of varying degree among people.”

He emphasized the need for the country to take necessary action towards addressing the menace of hate speech.

“Hateful conduct of whatever kind is not helpful to a country with over 250 ethnic groups and different religious followers who ought to give peace and mutual respect a chance by respecting each others’ beliefs, values and views” Ibrahim said

While condemning the statement credited to the member representing Igabi west constituency in the Kaduna state House of Assmbly, Yusuf Zailani against Senator Shehu Sani, the centre urged politicians to exercise some sense of responsibility in their bids for public offices saying some of their utterances are capable of tearing the country apart.

Yusuf Zailani has reportedly placed a bounty of N5m for anybody that could bring him Senator Shehu Sani’s hair.