We’re succeeding in campaign against hate speech – CITAD

By Mustapha Usman, Kano.

The Centre for Information Technology And Development, CITAD, on Tuesday said it recorded success in its campaign against hate speech.

Addressing journalists in Kano on its monthly report of July on Monitoring and Countering of Hate and Dangerous Speech, the programme officer of CITAD, Isah Garba, expressed delight that their call to governments to check the menace had started yielding fruits.

According to him, the routine campaign against hate speech by the non-governmental organization had made the citizens, especially the authorities to begin clamoring against the illicit practice.

Mr Garba cited example with the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo’s statement against hate speech at a seminar organised by the Institute for Security Studies recently.

Mr Osinbajo was quoted to have said “every major crisis in history was preceded by hate speeches. Media, especially the social media has often been used to spread such hatred.”

Mr Garba then called on Nigerians to embrace the Mr Osinbajo’s statement to check the menace.

He also revealed that their monitoring result showed that out of 601 hate speeches on 6 issues in July, 309, representing more than 50% hate speeches were on ethnicity, adding that religion took the share of 202 hate speeches.

Mr Garba added that there were 46 hate speeches on issue of Biafra in the period under review, noting that the issues of farmer/herders had reduced in the month to only 11 speeches.

The programme officer also expressed optimism that if governments at all level would rise up to contain the scourge of hate speech, the problem would be reducing month by month.

“The governments should learn lesson from the McArthur Foundation that has been for years supporting CITAD and many other organisations in Nigeria to conduct activities that will help in mitigating the menace, including this press conference through which we reach out to public in the country,” he said.

Mr Garba therefore called on the general public to contribute their quota in fighting hate speech through peer sensitisation and shunning of the hate speakers.