By Mustapha Usman
As the build-up to the 2019 elections commenced in earnest, Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has called on the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and other political parties to caution their members against hate speech.
Speaking at a press conference, held at its office in Kano, on Wednesday, the coordinator, Curbing Hate Speech in Nigeria Project, Hamza Ibrahim expressed worry over the rise of political hate speeches, as the country is approaching the forthcoming elections in 2019.
According to him, most of the hate and inflammatory speeches are perpetrated by prominent political figures in the country.
Mr Ibrahim noted that the problem was borne out of intolerance, especially among young Nigerians who are using social media.
He expressed displeasure over lack of awareness of the guidelines of conduct set by social media platforms among the youth.
The coordinator noted that in August and September, CITAD had monitored combined 437 hate speeches, adding that, most of the utterances were emanated from websites of conventional and online newspapers.
“We are appealing to the conventional and online newspapers to take interest in monitoring conversations going on in their websites in order to stop people from making hateful and dangerous comments.
“We also call on religious leaders and organizations to emphasize scriptures that promote peace, unity and tolerance.
“National Orientation Agency (NOA) should deepen its awareness creation on peace and unity,” He said