By Bakare Majeed
OrderPaperToday – The All Progressive Congress (APC) has warned authors of the anti Igbo song which has gone viral in the northern part of Nigeria to be mindful of the Rwandan genocide.
The APC in similar manner described perpetrators of hate speeches to be worse than Boko haram.
The party’s warning is coming in the wake of an audio recording making the rounds in the northern part of the country.
National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun gave the warning according to a press release signed by the Assistant Director, Publicity of the party, Edegbe Odemwige.
Oyegun described all forms of hate speech as “despicable and dangerous”, urging security agencies to swiftly arrest and prosecute 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, and 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.
“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.”
Oyegun observed that even though “ethnic distrust is not new in the country, the rising wave of hate speech, negative religious and ethnic utterance 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 wish the country itself to collapse just because they are no longer in power. This is tragic indeed.”
Oyegun also called on the Acting President, Yemi Osinbanjo to direct all relevant agencies to act so as to deter others with intent to sow discord using hate speech.