Hate Speech Inimical to Our Democracy

Hate Speech

By Hassan Ibrahim, Kaduna

As 2019 general elections draw closer, the CENTRE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT (CITAD), has warned that hate and dangerous speeches could be a threat to the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.

CITAD, at a day public sensitization on hate and dangerous speech in Kaduna, cautioned Nigerians against divisive discussions and rumours calculated to cause confusion and unleash conflict usually spread through the social media.

The Non-Governmental Organisation explained that following the continued spread of hate and dangerous speeches on social and main stream media in Nigeria in particular, it has deemed it fit to raise awareness and enlightenment against the unfortunate plight to avoid the resultant consequences that may arise as a result.

A communique issued at the end of the program said, “Justice, fairness and humanity should prevail in the society while those in authority should live exemplary lives and set good benchmarks for others to emulate.

“Being an advocacy group against hate and dangerous speeches, CITAD organized this public sensitization meeting with participants drawn from CSOs, Media, Students Unions, religious as well as traditional rulers and resolved positive steps of alleviating poverty and stringent economic situations should be taken by those responsible.”

It added that Security agencies should respect the rights of citizens and operate by their positive rules of engagement.

“The need for patriotism and selflessness among all citizens can never be over emphasized in the advocacy against hate and dangerous speeches.

“No religion preaches violence and hatred among people hence, the need for clerics to strictly avoid the use of hate speeches in their preaching.

“As 2019 general elections approaches, politicians should be seen to respect moral and societal ethics through the avoidance of hate and dangerous speeches.

“Constant and synergetic collaborations among the various peace stakeholders in Nigeria should be employed in the fight against hate and dangerous speeches.”

Among dignitaries at the programme were renowned religious clerics in Kaduna state, Sheikh Maraya and Pastor Buru who subsequently admonished Nigerians to live in peace and harmony with one another.