The programme started at around 11:00, it was started late because it was sanitation day in Enugu state. The participants were drawn from students, youth, women group, traditional titled holders, journalists and Civil Society Organizations.
It started with self-introduction by the participants, welcome remarks by Isah Garba, who welcomed the participants to the programme and took them through the background of the CITAD peace project in general, and specifically the monitoring and countering of hate and dangerous speech, its objectives, goals and activities. He also made the participants to know that the Enugu progarmme is the third in the series of the regional sensitization programmes that CITAD is conducting in the country with one programme in each of the six regions in the country, started from Damaturuin Yobe state for the Northeast and Jos in Plateau state for the North Central.
The next was a presentation on understanding Dangerous Speech, which was also taken by Isah Garba and he led the participants to define hate speech with specific focus on the contextual working definition, which is summarized to be regarded as dangerous speech any speech act that is aimed at inciting the audience to denigrate against people others of the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, geography and any other socially conceived parameter with the purpose of marginalizing them or placing them at some disadvantage that is contrary to the provisions of the universal declaration on human rights as well as the international covenants on rights of the people. This does not include the peculiar joking relations that exist in some communities, practiced between two or more ethnic/linguistic groups that have historically been used as a conflict resolution mechanism.
Another area torched in the presentation is the transition or difference between hate speech and dangerous speech. Dangerous speech is considered as speech that contains call to action such as, kill, loot, beat, discriminate, evict or riot. The participants were also made to understand that for any speech to be considered worthy for categorizing as hate speech, the speakers influence and position has be look into, the audience’s possibility of reacting to the speech and the level of the speakers influence on the audience plus the medium of disseminating the speech considering manipulation of the medium by the speaker and level of frequent repetition of the speech.
Ibrahim Nuhu took the second presentation which is Strategies of Countering Dangerous speech. He first lead the participants to appreciate the fact that for anybody to effectively counter hate speech ne needs to have full knowledge of what hate speech is. The participants were taken through varies ways o countering dangerous speech including means of preempting methodologies.
During the general discussions participants unanimously agreed on the existence of so many hate speeches cutting across religion, region and ethnicity, some as a result of misconceptions, others deliberate by either politicians or some so called religious leaders.
They also commended CITAD and MacArthur foundation for planning to sensitized the populous on this menaces and teaching ways of countering them to curb violence and promote peaceful coexistence in the country. It was also recommended that these sensitizations should be started from the scratch through catching children young right from the primary and secondary schools level since most of the distortions and inculcation of hatred among the people is mostly started there. The programme was closed at around 5:00pm and participants left for the various destinations.