Bauchi – Yunusa Zakari Ya’u, the Executive Director of Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has called for the establishment of National Peace Commission to promote peace building in Nigeria.
Ya’u stated this during a one day hate speech evaluation meeting held at Command Guest House in Bauchi on Sunday.
He said “There is the need to review the national peace architecture to provide for the establishment of a national peace commission with the mandate to promote peace building, resolution conflicts and engendering a culture of community dialogue at all levels.
“In order to tackle the problem of hate speech in the society, there must be legislation to regulate preaching as well as provide clear framework for the teaching of religious studies that will be in consonant with our national aspiration for a peaceful and united country.
He thereby called on religious and community leaders to speak out against hate speech in order to condemn all those who engage in hate speech and to ensure that they do not themselves condone hate speech in their spaces.
“We call on the media to not only join the campaign against hate speech but also ensure that they do not provide space for hate speech to be carried and propagated in their spaces. We call on political parties to not only shun hate speech but also sign up to the voluntary campaign declaration on hate speech which we will launch shortly that will commit them to disqualify any politician seeking for nomination on their platforms for election for engaging in hate speech.
” We therefore call on people to not indulge in hate speech and not be provoked by it. That is the key principle for inoculating people against hate speech that ultimately is the most effective anti-dote against hate speech, he said,” he said.
Ya’u said Hate Speech project is being supported by the MacArthur Foundation with the objectives to raise public awareness on hate speech through sensitization forums to get the people to understand the danger of hate speech and how to respond to it as well as engage stakeholders to generate recommendations and strategies for strengthening the existing media regulations and standards to prevent hate speech.
Among other objectives of the project according to Ya’u are monitoring and documentation of hate speech across multiple media platforms to inform data based advocacy and policy engagement to curb hate speech and expanding the peace clubs and students for peace initiatives into a national youth for peace movement to lead advocacy and campaign to improve regulation and policy frameworks for media and journalism in the country.