By Ahmed Jada
The Senior Programme Officer of Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD), Isah Garba has has calls for active participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) and Media practitioners in tackling hate speech in Nigeria.
Garba made the call weekend in Bauchi during a one day workshop organized by Bauchi State Coalition for Improvement of Public Expenditure Management (BACIPEM) with support from CITAD for CSO’s and Media on how to use technology tools to counter hate speech and Peace building
According to him, CITAD has been sensitizing people across the country both online and offline on the danger and the need to counter hate speech.
He stressed the need for involvement of CSO’s, Media and other stakeholders in tackling hate speech particularly on social media as 2019 general elections approaches in order to ensure peaceful polls.
Garba advised Nigerians especially politicians to avoid hate speech campaign noting “no nation can enjoy peace and development with the use of hate speech because hate speech causes violence in the society hence the need to avoid and campaign against hate speech.
He explained that CITAD has conducted training on hate speech in different states which includes Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Jigawa among others.
Also speaking, Mohammed Chiroma from BACIPEM said the training was a step down training following the intensive training organized by PeaceTech Lab in collaboration with Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) on how use technology tools to better counter hate speech online.
Chiroma said the participants were trained on how to use Google Image Verification Tool, Google Forms and Facebook for Hate speech countering.
He pointed out that hate speeches said on social media have the great potentials to ignite violence considering the large audience it can reach within short period of time.
One of the participants at the training, Adama Ibrahim of Women Fellowship of Nigeria admitted that this is her first time to be sensitized on hate speech saying she only hears about it on TV or Radio.
She thereby commended BACIPEM and CITAD for organizing such training which according to her will go along way in ensuring peace in the society.
The training has in attendance 20 participants drawn from CSOs and Media organizations in the state.