.Says hate speech worse than terrorism
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP of being behind the growing wave of hate speeches in the country and the recent Hausa audio tape that sought to pitch the north and other parts of the country against the Igbo.
While he warned against the resort to hate speeches in national conversation, Odigie-Oyegun described “perpetrators of hate-speeches, images and songs as worse than Boko Haram”.
The APC national chairman was speaking in reaction to an audio recording which seeks to disparage the Igbos and which is currently being circulated especially in the north of the country.
Odigie-Oyegun observed that even though ethnic distrust is not new in the country, “the rising wave of hate speeches, negative religious and ethnic utterances and actions as is currently being experienced, is 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 wished the country itself to collapse just because they are no longer in power. This is tragic indeed”, he said in apparent reaction to the former ruling party, the PDP.
Describing the song as “dangerous and despicable”, the APC national chairman therefore called on security agencies to promptly apprehend those behind the recording and other similar acts, “no matter who they are.”
According to him, “every ethnic based crises of whatever nature had started with hate speech. When people within the same country frame and define one another in the manner intended to set them up for violent attack, then they are setting themselves up for a major disaster”.
He added that, “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”.
Odigie-Oyegun however called on the acting president to direct the security agencies to ensure that those behind these odious acts are promptly arrested and swiftly brought to justice.
“We cannot sit idle and watch a few disgruntled individuals destroy our democracy, and God forbids, the nation that we all fought hard to achieve and build”