OrderPaperToday – The government and Nigerian leaders should be held responsible for the rise of hate speech, a poll by OrderPaperNG has revealed.
According to the results of the poll, 47% of respondents attributed the rise of hate speech to the government and leaders, closely followed by 42% of respondents who believe that leaders and citizens both share the blame for the rise of hate speech.
Only 11% of respondents agreed that citizens are responsible for the rise of hate speech in the country.
The issue of hate speech has been trending in recent weeks following the Senate’s introduction of the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches Bill.
The bill, which proposes death by hanging as one of the penalties for engaging in hate speech, has generated controversy and public outcry.
Following the outcome of the poll, OrderPaperNG had a chat with former senator, Foster Ogola, who posited that hate speech is an outcome of the kind of leadership a country has.
Ogola said, “Gagging of people from expressing their mind is dictatorship, but again, freedom of speech should have responsibility attached to it. Hate speech is an outcome of the leadership of the country.
“The moment you have no space to accommodate contending views or dissenting views then you breed hate speech; that is where hate speech is coming from.
“Dictatorship, autocracy, militocracy breed hate speech – hate speech cannot come on its own”.
He added, “Hate speech should not be condoned but again, the government at the centre should do everything to run a socially, economically, and culturally inclusive government. When that is done, hate speech will disappear on its own”.
Also commenting on the matter, an Abuja based lawyer, Eni Otu Kelechukwu, noted that leaders and citizens have contributed to the rise of hate speech in Nigeria.
“Hate speech tends from our divisions, those primordial differences which have been used by both our leaders and us, citizens. It is a combination of both parties; the followers and leaders have played a role in the rise of hate speech,” Kelechukwu said.