The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) is implementing a project on curbing Hate and Dangerous Speech with support from MacArthur Foundation, and a component of the project includes holding public sensitization on Hate and Dangerous Speech. The public sensitization was attended by civil society groups, political party representatives, women groups, youths organizations, traditional and religious leaders and the media among others. The sensitization at the end of extensive deliberations came up with the following communiqué;
A. CAUSES OF HATE SPEECH AND ITS DRIVERS
- Ethnic and group stereotyping
2. Hateful and unguarded original speeches emanating from government quarters
3. Increasing level of poverty
4. Dissatisfaction of the citizenry with poor governance and maladministration
5. Perceived marginalization
6. Elite contest for position
7. Shielding of corrupt leaders against trials and prosecution
8. Unhealthy attitude to elections
- To curb Hate and Dangerous Speeches, the following recommendations were made:
1. Promotion of nationalistic orientation as against ethnicity as a national norm.
2. Strengthening national integration, reconciliation and peace building processes
3. Bolstering the nation’s information and National reorientation departments to foster unity and peace
4. Integration of civic and peace education as a compulsory subject at all levels of education
5. Expunge federal character and quota system from the nation’s selection process
6. Promotion of meritocracy as against ethnicity
7. Provision of medium for genuine conversation towards promoting true national reconciliation
8. Active mobilization for citizens participation in peace and consensus building
9. Government should review media regulatory laws to curb Hate Speech
10. Establishment of unity clubs in all levels of education to inculcate discipline in our young ones.
11. Media should join the campaign against hate speech by providing space to counter hate and dangerous speech.
12. Civil society organizations should facilitate ethnic and interfaith dialogue
13. Media should refrain from providing space for the promotion of hate speech on their various media platform
14. Government should enthrone good governance as a means to curb feelings of disaffection and marginalization among the citizenry to address social exclusion and economic imbalances
15. Religious leaders should refrain from using inciting language and caution their fellows from doing same.
This communiqué was read and agreed by all the participants and signed by:
Ugory Chibuikem Kelvin-State Secretary, National Youth Council of Nigeria. (N.Y.C.N)
Dr. Okafor, Ikechukwu Stanley – Imo Good Governance Advocates (IGGA)
Ms. Udeh Anita. Program Officer, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR)