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The incessant and unprovoked hate utterances renting the electronic and print media in Nigeria is a threat to national unity. Ethnic strategists use subtle and inciting statement to create platform in order to voice out their ethnic sentiment. Taking a critical look at the trend of events in Nigeria gives room for fear and uncertainty.
Some ethnic or tribal leaders in Nigeria indulge in making hate speeches to achieve their selfish ambitions to the detriment of the people they claim of protecting. Nigeria is a heterogeneous society. During the convocation of National conference on national issues in 2014, the Former President of Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, declared publicity that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. No region is greater than the others.
The government of Nigeria should protect the right of every Nigerian irrespective of tribe or religion.
A situation where the three major tribes see Nigerian state as a ball to kick at any time without any substantial aim is worrisome. One wonders the achievement of hate speeches to the teeming populace. No tribe is superior to the others irrespective of size of population and spread of language.
For how long shall this ethnic division continue in Nigeria? The unnecessary provocation by some tribal leaders without any fracas is a serious threat to peace. It is observed that Nigerians are not united to tackle injustice, poverty, sickness, corruption and under development. But Nigerians are easily convinced to stand on erroneous ethnic foundations that easily beset the unity of the country. Some had branded themselves as born to rule. The Federal Government must as a matter of urgent national attention erase that negative mind set.
The ethnic agitation across the nation is not healthy to democracy and unity of Nigeria. Recently the AREWA YOUTH made an unhealthy declaration to the Ibos to leave their region in the same country. The inciting statement was made in Kaduna without fear of arrest.
Today many Nigerians are apprehensive of what would be the end result of the incitement. Hate speech has caused unrest in Nigeria in recent times. There fore nobody should support those who fan ego of hate speeches in Nigeria. At this point in time Nigerians need peace and progress and not ethnic and tribal war. The ultimatum given to the Easterners residing in the North to leave, is not a welcome development in the same country.
The declaration for the Easterners to leave Northern Nigeria was wrong and was not for peaceful co-existence of the tribes.
The declaration of AREWA Youths is unconstitutional. Therefore, the government of the Federal republic of Nigeria, should arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of such hate speech.
It is not enough for security agencies to issue pres statement of being on top of the situation. Nigerians want stringent measures to be taken to stop this unnecessary tribal sentiment in the country.
It is worthy to note that every Nigerian has right to reside in any part of Nigeria without negotiation. The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has met with leaders of North and South-East. And Nigerians expect the Acting President to take decisive action against those who make hate speeches capable of causing chaos in Nigeria. Nigerians want peace and not crisis. No tribe should see itself as the owner of Nigerian state. No doubt, Nigeria is the most populous Nation in Africa but not in the world.
Nigerian state should be guided or led by what is laid down in the constitution. And not what has beclouded the mind-set based on tribal sentiment. Ethnic sentiment or hate speeches do not do any good to Nigerian State in particular and Federating States in general.
Inciting speeches are threat to the co-operate existence of Nigerian state. The citizens of Nigeria are worried about the way and manner hate speeches are made with impunity without love for another in the country. The major ethnic groups should desist from making hate speeches capable of causing hatred and unrest in Nigeria.
Furthermore, politicians should advice their followers not to see hate speeches as tools of winning elections. Indeed, Nigerians need and deserve Nigeria devoid of tribal sentiment and hate speeches.
Hate speech or inciting statement would give room to disunity, nepotism, discrimination, acrimony and doubt for one another. Say no to hate speeches.###
Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu