Buhari precursor of hate speech– Ocherome Nnanna
Chairman of the Editorial Board of Vanguard, Mr Ocherome Nnanna accused President Muhammadu Buhari as being the precursor of hate speech.
Nnanna said: “President Buhari is the precursor of hate speech. He said I will give 97 per cent to those who voted for him and 3 per cent to those who did not vote for him. Every single appointment he has made has shown that he is discriminatory. That is what led to Biafra agitation, people will be angry.
“For the Vice President to feel so bad about it and declared that hate speeches will be treated as terrorism, he should champion it. Instead of moving forward, the country is going backwards.”
Making new laws is irrelevant—Ekhomu
In his remarks, – President, Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Ona Ekhomu said making new laws to tackle hate speech is irrelevant.
Ekhomu said: the media has a role to call out people for things that are not right. No individual can come out and say I don’t like what a politician said about a group of people. It is the responsibility of the media to call out such people. We don’t really need new laws on hate speech when we have tons of laws that have not been implemented. The role of the media is quite central in curbing hate speeches. They failed us in 2015 but we hope they don’t fail us again this time around.”
Enforce existing laws—Agina
Ms Ada Agina – Executive Director, Gender and Development Action, GADA argued that there is need to enforce the extisting laws to tackle hate speeches.
Agina said: “If there are laws against violence and hate speech, I don’t think the Northern youths and Nnamdi Kanu should be let off the hook. There is a law against libel, these are all civil matters. As far as I am concerned, there are many laws that can be used to prosecute those who make hate speeches.
Let us not make too much mountains out of a mole hill. What has the media done and what is the media doing to curb hate speeches? So, I don’t think we should make new laws to gag those making hate speeches, the existing laws should be enforced.”
No justification for new laws—Akinnola
In his contribution, Veteran Journalist, lawyer and media rights activist, Richard Akinnola said there is no justification in making a new law to curb hate speeches in Nigeria.
Akinnola said: “We have a lot of laws to deal with some of these infractions; it is just that they have not been enforced. How are we sure if a new law is promulgated, the political will be there to enforce it? The standing point is to try and implement some of the existing laws. I don’t think it is justified to have a new law.”
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