Concerns Over Hate Speeches Resonate

Concerns Over Hate Speeches Resonate

Nigeria’s general elections are days away but it appears that the coast is still foggy as some gladiators are still bent on playing against the tide of fair play. Like in any game, where there more than one participant, it is obvious that one winner would emerge.

It is therefore not unusual to expect a winner after a fair contest in the coming elections which has been characterised by bloody experiences even when the contest proper has not started.

Killings, arson and several other vices are being reported in several places across the country and these seem to be politically motivated even as  the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has continued to vouch that it was ready to deliver a credible process that would lead to a fresh transition.

Even with INEC’s posturing, it is doubtful if we can scale through with a process devoid of the deleterious experiences of the past as the body language of politicians across various parties are laced with ungoverned attacks and speeches that appear that the nation is under siege by its own people.

Public speeches in the media and from prominent Nigerians who ought to be resilient shows that intolerance has taken the better part of our polity. Unguarded utterances, aimed at undoing the opponent are now the order of the day. Yet, the authorities which ought to wield the big stick against perpetrators of these unbecoming attitudes are watching helplessly.

We have reached a crescendo such that we can not afford to go back on our collective resolve to transit from one government to the other. It is imperative for us to put behind primordial sentiments and divisive attributes which have not helped the nation to advance beyond petty sentiments.    

We commend the Arewa Consultative Forum ,ACF, which had warned that the resort to hate speech, insults and threats of violence by some politicians were a threat to the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
In a statement recently, the forum said, despite the security and economic problems facing the country, had warned that some desperate politicians and their supporters seemed to be “adding fuel to the fire”.

According to the statement signed by the Secretary General of the forum, Murtala  Aliyu, the group noted that the prevalence of  hate  speeches  and acts  of  violence  and  aggression  in the ongoing campaigns was an indication  that  the  laws  were  not  being  enforced.

We stress that the National Electoral Commission ,INEC, and other relevant agencies have  a  responsibility  to  act  and  enforce  the  Electoral Act  as  amended by imposing the expected punishment possible on politicians, who hold their ambitions as more important than  national peace and harmony.  

We hereby reiterate as ever that the INEC  has  a  responsibility  to  act  and  enforce  the  Electoral Act  as  amended. It  should  impose  the  harshest  punishment  possible  on politicians  who  think  achieving  their  personal  ambitions  is  more  important than  national  peace  and  harmony.

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2023 Elections

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