Hate Speech Worse Than Terrorism, Says Oyegun

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, has described perpetrators of hate speeches as worse than terrorists.

Mr Odigie-Oyegun said this on Wednesday in a statement issued by the Assistant Director of Publicity, APC, Mr Edegbe Odemwingie.

The statement was in reaction to an audio recording being circulated especially in the Northern region of the country, which the APC National Chairman described as “dangerous and despicable”.

Merchants of Hate

He, therefore, called on security agencies to promptly apprehend those behind the audio recording and other similar acts irrespective of who they are.

“Every ethnic-based crises of whatever nature had started with hate speech. When people within the same country frame and define one another in a manner intended to set them up for violent attack, then they are setting themselves up for a major disaster. The ‘merchants of hate’ don’t know or just don’t care about the consequences of the fire they are stoking in the country, but they have the experiences of other countries to learn from; Rwanda remains a classic example on our continent.

“However, even as terrible as Rwanda was, it would be nothing compared to what could happen if a huge country like Nigeria is allowed to fall into the disaster of hate-driven conflict. This is why we must all rise, regardless of our political differences and condemn these ugly and shameful acts with one voice,” he said.

Odigie-Oyegun noted that although ethnic distrust was not new in the country, the rising wave of hate speech as well as negative religious and ethnic utterance and actions, as being experienced, was part of the fallouts of the 2015 presidential election.

“Anyone participating in an election knows that there could only be two outcomes – you win or you lose; when you lose, you prepare for the next election. What we have seen, however, is that since 2015, some politicians and political groups have carried on as if they wish the country itself to collapse just because they are no longer in power. This is tragic indeed.”

The APC Chairman consequently urged the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to direct the security agencies to ensure that those behind the odious acts were promptly arrested and brought to justice.

“We cannot sit idle and watch a few disgruntled individuals to destroy our democracy, and God forbids, the nation that we all fought hard to achieve and build,” he noted.

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