CITAD Reveals Staggering Figures Of Hate Speeches

Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has revealed that 6,258 hate speeches were recorded between June and December 2016, stating it is not a good development for the country.


The Senior Programme Officer of CITAD, Isah Garba, while giving the outcome of the 2016 Monitoring and Countering Hate and Dangerous Speech Project Report, noted that rumour was one of the most inflammatory and violence causing mechanisms.

He also noted that non-adherence to journalism ethics, especially on social media and its heterogeneous users, makes proliferation of rumor easy.

Garba observed that government appears to be slow in tackling drivers of hate speech in the society, which he listed to be unemployment, hunger and poverty.

Report says Nigeria records 6,258 hate speeches in six months

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has revealed that 6,258 hate speeches were recorded between June and December 2016, stating it is not a good development for the country.

The Senior Programme Officer of CITAD, Isah Garba, while giving the outcome of the 2016 Monitoring and Countering Hate and Dangerous Speech Project Report, noted that rumour was one of the most inflammatory and violence causing mechanisms.

He also noted that non-adherence to journalism ethics, especially on social media and its heterogeneous users, makes proliferation of rumor easy.

Garba observed that government appears to be slow in tackling drivers of hate speech in the society, which he listed to be unemployment, hunger and poverty.

Report says Nigeria records 6,258 hate speeches in six months

CITAD Holds Annual Evaluation Meeting on Curbing Hate Speech in Nigeria

By Hamza Ibrahim Chinade.

Curbing Hate and Dangerous in Nigeria especially on social media is a project that Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) carries out, the project has components such as Monitoring and Countering, Forming Students for Peace Associations or Peace Clubs in tertiary institutions and secondary schools, Public Sensitization, Peace Competition etc. As the year 2017 began, the organization draws participants from Peace Ambassadors, Peace Advisers, Members of Students for Peace Associations and the media to review the challenges, share experiences, interact, explore new opportunities and the way forward towards strengthening the campaign against Hate Speech and peace propagation. The event holds at Oasis Hotel in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

During the evaluation meeting three presentations were facilitated by different presenters thus: What Has Been Done So far, Focus on Students for Peace (S4Ps): What Can We Do to Improve the Effectiveness of Peace Clubs and Curbing Hate Speech in Nigeria: How Do We Make the Campaign More Effective? The participants engaged in a General Discussion on the Implementation of the Project session where they brainstormed and deliberated on issues, problems, challenges and success stories around the project.

Some of the peace ambassadors and leaders of students for peace shared varied challenges and success stories as can be seen: we have strengthened our peace club with lectures to the students on social media particularly Facebook and Twitter, how they can campaign for peace, help resolve disagreements, our ICT center that the students use during training is not fully functional-Peace Adviser GSS Gulani. Our peace club has been functional, it normally organizes drama on peace from time to time with invitation to neighbouring schools in attendance, we equally came up with a periodic calendar that is peace based, in essence, our peace club preaches peace in a drama form-GSSS Kofar Nasarawa Peace Ambassador.

Part of the challenges we face at Bayero Univerty Kano Students for Peace is that the Students Union Government regard us as their opposition because of the increasing number of students joining the association, as the university resumes for the 20172018 session we embarked on a free registration for new and returning students with support from CITAD, again BUK-S4P raised money to pay for the registration of three indigent students, we are going to hold what we called “Peace Summit” where we scheduled to invite religious leaders from both Islam and Christianity also from within and outside the university to further sensitize students on peace, we also want to expand the horizon of the association to accommodate more Christians and traditional religious followers because at the moment most members are Muslims, there is an outreach we developed that will be mentoring students of secondary schools on peace and how they can find peace clubs when they get to higher institutions, we will start this shortly with Kofar Nasarawa Secondary School-leader of BUK-S4P. Peace Club in my school has made a lot of impacts on our students, now we don’t witness quarrel among students, a student once admitted to me that she used to be trouble maker but the peace club has transformed her to even becoming a mediator whenever there is misunderstanding among students. The impact is not only on students, I can say it also has impact on the teachers themselves, as a teacher I also used to be a hot-tempered person, whoever approaches me with a trouble I react aggressively and instantly whether I will regret it later, but coordinating peace club has made me more tolerant and understanding-Peace Ambassador of Government Girls Secondary School Bauchi, Bauchi state. We used to experience crisis between the school cadet members and prefects almost on frequent basis but the introduction of peace club now serves as the crisis resolving ground, because of the continuous mediation of the peace club members, we don’t witness crises anymore-Peace Ambassador of Commercial Secondary School Dutse, Jigawa state. In Government Secondary School Damaturu we sensitize our students on Hate Speech and Peace because our school was affected by Boko Haram insurgency, and created a Facebook account where our students post peace messages, we offer our students free data in the school computer center to post peace messages. The Hate Speech and Peace propagation issue really demands the support of the media, and I will discuss with the management of Yobe Radio Corporation as a correspondent to facilitate amplifying the voices of the peace clubs. Even though S4P is not officially commissioned in my school but I learned the membership keeps increasing every time we meet-Students for Peace member, Aminu Saleh College of Education Azare.

Giving a closing remark, Executive Director of the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Dr. Yunusa Zakari Ya’u observed that peace initiative is a self benefitting initiative because without peace there can be no development as such striving for peace should be a collective commitment, he appreciated the commitment of both teachers and students for making sacrifices towards peace. Ya’u said “we combine peacemaking with entrepreneurship skills so that the students will be more marketable and excel better in their various endeavours”.

Centre cautions religious leaders on hate speeches

A Kano-based, NGO, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has called on religious and community leaders to desists from making hate and dangerous speeches in the country.

Mr Isah Garba, the CITAD Programme Manager, made the call while briefing newsmen in Kano on Saturday.

He noted that religious and community leaders have important roles to play in the promotion of peace and unity in the country.

“Religious and community leaders are close to the people and they can use their respective positions in the society to influence their actions.

“We appreciate the efforts of some religious and community leaders who have spoken against the culture of hate speeches,”he said.

Garba alleged that most traditional and religious leaders seemed to be quiet about the issue which is dangerous to the corporate existence of the country.

“The complexity of the problem is beyond the management of civil society organisations alone as other stakeholders have to lend their support so that together, we can curb the menace.

He said between June 2016 and December 2016 no fewer than 6,258 hate speeches were reported to CITAD by its trained monitors.

He said the organisation would continue to counter the hate speeches it comes across through public sensitisation, deployment of moral sanction and advocacy to enlist influential voices to the campaign against hate speeches.



Hate Speech: CITAD Moves Against Social Media

By Bashir Mohammed

Senior Programme Officer, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Malam Isah Garba, has said that the Centre had made considerable inroad in stopping hate speech via the social media as it constitutesda threat to national security.
Speaking at its monthly press conference in Kano yesterday, Garba said in November alone, CITAD reported 942 hate speeches out of which religion and ethnicity took 837 with religion taking 432, while ethnicity taking 405, respectively.

Garba said the media was critical in the fight against hate speech and hate speakers, affirming that it was an abiding responsibility on the shoulders of media houses to enforce coverage and reportage of sanctions on well-defined hate speakers that “often do that to get relevance.”
He said CITAD observation had consistently shown that 97.9% of hate speakers in “Nigeria do not care to address their speech in coded language,” instead they used freely and plainly language indicating that no one cares to listen to what others were saying.
While commending the actions and support of other stakeholders for supporting the cause for eradicating hate speech, the CITAD Senior Programme officer condemned the “cavalier attitude of some prominent people who reduce themselves to becoming habitual hate speakers and perpetrators of inflammatory comments.”

Hate Speeches: CITAD Charges Police On Fani-Kayode

By Najib Sani

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has urged the Police to bring the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, to order over his alleged persistent hate speeches in the media and social networks which, it believed, were capable of causing chaos and disunity in the country.
In a press statement signed by its Team Leader, Sagiru Ado Abubakar, in Bauchi yesterday, the NGO said Fani-Kayode “is a statesman and should, therefore, watch his utterances,” adding that “for some time now, we have been monitoring his speeches which are aimed at only defaming the character of President Muhammadu Buhari and inciting citizens against fellow compatriots.”
“While condemning his hate speeches, we urge the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Department of State Security Service (DSS) to prosecute Femi Fani-Kayode over inflammatory statement she makes against President Muhammad Buhari,” the statement read in part.

It also recalled that Fani-Kayode in a recent article in some newspapers said President Buhari might either die or be overthrown as no core northern Muslim leader had ever ended well at Aso Rock.
The statement also quoted the former minister as saying: “The truth is that every single core northern Muslim leader that has ever ruled this country has either died on the throne or been removed from power in a military coup. None of them ended well. Whether the second coming of Buhari will end any differently remains to be seen. One thing that is clear to me, though, is that the whole thing is spiritual. It is being orchestrated and effected by the finger of God and not by any man. It is God’s way of saying that they were never meant to rule and be there in the first place and that He has rejected them. It is the work of the Ancient of Days and the Lord God of Hosts.”


In its continues effort to address the proliferation of hate and dangerous speech in the country , the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) on 1th of November, 2016 held yet another regional Public Sensitization on Dangerous speech  for the Northwest Region, held at the Green House, Mani Road , Katsina Katsina state. CITAD team, at the occasion comprises M. Ibrahim Nuhu, Training Officer,  Hamza Ibrahim,  Shazali sunusi and Abdullahi Balarabe.

Hamza Ibrahim opened the programme with welcome remarks on behalf of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and the MacArthur Foundation who support the project. He drew the attention of the participants to give maximum cooperation and participate actively in the programme so as attain the objectives of the  programme.

The first session was on the understanding of hate and dangerous speech which was also led by Hamza Ibrahim who led the participant to understand what dangerous speech is, means of identifying dangerous speech, coming down to specific local contextual definition of the hate speech as:

“To contextualize the concept, we regard 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. Substantively, we see dangerous/hate speech in the Nigerian context as speech act that:

  1. Insults people for their religion
    2. Abuses people for their ethnic or linguistic affiliation
    3. Expresses contempt against people because of their place of origin
    4. Disparages or intimidates women or girls because of their gender
    5. Condones discriminatory assertions against people living with disability 
    6. Abuses or desecrates symbols of cultural or religious practices 
    7. Denigrates or otherwise ridicules traditional or cultural institutions of other people 
    8. Deliberate spread falsehood or rumours that demeans or maligns or otherwise ostracizes other people on the basis of religion, ethnicity, gender or place of origin for the accident of one form of disability or the other


The second ssession was on Strategies of Countering Hate/ Dangerous speech handled by M. Ibrahim Nuhu. He led the participants through ways and strategies of countering hate speech , giving example of some identified  hate speeches and most appropriate strategy for countering such.

After the two session participants were given the chance to make comments and suggestions on the proramme in general and these are some of the comments and suggessions:

  • Ahmad Salisu suggested that  CITAD should organize this type of sensitization lecture for printing and online newspapers, because  the news headlines of some Print Newspaper are  lead the audience to generate hate speech.  According to him our newspapers divide the Nation instead of uniting us; he also gave example of the some newspapers serve the interest of a particular ethnic or region.
  • CITAD should create a forum or campaign to sensitize public on the dangers of citizens taking laws into their hands in terms of accusations or misunderstanding.
  • This work is not for CITAD alone is for general public to campaign against, condemn, and also counter any hate speech that we come across our life till our country become free hate speech.
  • One of the Female participants asserted that:  “I’m fully sensitized on hate speech and also educated on how to counter it, to me I choose proactive action strategy, we thank CITAD for enlighten us” she further requested that next time if CITAD  wish to organize any event like this in Katsina  females should constitute the hghiest number of the participants  than male because they take things  serious than male, and lastly promise CITAD that Katsina State will be role model in this campaign against hate speech  over the nation.

Mal. Huzaifa of CITAD, Katsina gave the closing remark, he thanked the participants for the time and active participation throughout the sessions.


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.

A chance to win prizes by contributing to peace building campaign

Are you a peace campaigner? Here is a chance to win some prizes for your passion. Starting from November, CITAD is starting a monthly social media peace campaign competition for youth.  The competition will offer prizes in four categories namely:

  1. The Most Engaged Person  in Twitter
  2. The Most Engaged Person in Facebook
  3. The most Influential Message (Twitter)
  4. The most Influential Message (Facebook)

How to enter?

There is no special entry form. Once you have a twitter or Facebook account, you can join. All you need to do is as follows:

  1. Tweet or retweet anti-hate speech campaign messages making sure you use the hashtag #No2HateSpeech
  2. Post or share anti-hate speech campaign messages (post to Peace Now! Page and Group)

How to win?

At the end of the winners will be selected as follows:

  1. Most engaged person on twitter will be the person who posted the highest number of tweets that speaks to either against hate speech or support peace campaign
  2. Most engaged person Facebook is the person who has posted the most on our peace campaign platforms, The messages must speaks to either against hate speech or support peace campaign
  3. The most influential message (tweeter) is the single anti-hate speech message that has the higher number of likes and retweets during the month
  4. The Most Influential Messages of Facebook is the single anti-hate post with the highest number of likes and share on our platforms


Members of CITAD, Monitors and their relatives are not entitled to participate in the competitions.

The Prizes

  1. Each winner will be have  campaign branded t-shirt, campaign branded wall clock and certificate
  2. First runner up with a campaign branded t-shirt and certificate
  3. Second runner up with campaign-branded wall clock and certificate

Repeated Entry?

As each month is a fresh campaign, previous winners are qualified to continue to enter.

Report of Courtesy Visit to JAMA’ATUL NASARUL ISLAM Jos, Plateau State

Following the North Central Sensitization on Hate and Dangerous Speech which took place on 15th October in Jos, on Sunday 16th October, 2016 the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) which has been monitoring and countering Hate and Dangerous Speeches has paid an advocacy visit to Jama’atul Nasarul Islam (JNI) at its national secretariat in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

The advocacy visit team led by Isah Garba, (Senior Programmes Officer, Peace and Conflict) was received by Umar Faruk Musa, the Public Relations Officer of JNI, after self introduction and welcome remarks Umar expressed happiness for the advocacy and demanded that Mr. Nelson Ananze who is a contact person of CITAD elaborate on the purpose of the visit.

Mr. Nelson Ananze gave a preface about the visiting organization and purpose of the visit, “CITAD is our guest, they came and conducted a programme on Hate and Dangerous Speech and paid courtesy visits to influential people in our communities such as traditional and religious leaders, all in effort to solicit their support towards achieving a sustainable peace, that is why we are here today”.  

Expatiating, the Hate and Dangerous Speech Project Coordinator of CITAD, Isah Garba said “during the 2015 election we noticed that the percentage of online hate speech went up but after the peace accord by presidential aspirants was signed the level of hate speech came down, but unfortunately after election the online hate speech kept rising again with 97.4% falling within religious domain, and we believed religious leaders and bodies like you have an important role to play by educating people on the danger of violence and significance of peace as well encouraging them to desist from making hate utterances. We particularly want this blessed religious body to also make inputs that will help curb the menace”.

Also commenting, the Vice Chairman of JNI, Alhaji Danjuma Khalil regrets the level hatred being spread on social media which he said is unbecoming, “hate and dangerous speech is a reality and physical thing that circulate on social media or online, that is why I do not register with any social media. The level of abusive language and hatred actually stop me from joining. Jama’atul Nasril Islam will call the attention of all Imams, leaders of all CBOs and their platforms and all preachers to sensitize them on the topic so that they can also preach and sensitize against hate and dangerous speech. We are going to organize seminars for all our members on the topic and if there is need for you to be engaged we will contact you about it”, Danjuma Khalil added.

Also making input during the advocacy visit, Deputy Secretary Youth Group of JNI, Alhaji Garzali said Jos has suffered a lot from conflict which has stagnated development and displaced people, therefore any effort to boost peace of whatever kind will be warmly embraced by JNI, and social media now attracts mostly young people who need to be couched on how they can maintain lasting peace, therefore this course will have the maximum cooperation of all.  Garzali further added that the point on social media followers is funny, most of them are not after what is posted but who posted it, if you follow the comments you will notice that there is clear division into two categories, that is supporting and opposing, both categories are made based on tribe, religion, ethnicity or political party of the person who made the post.  He asked a question: if you come across hate speech, what are you supposed to do?

Isah Garba responded with relevant example of categories of hate speeches and urged the inquirer to counter by politely advising the speech maker to stop it. As part of their support to curb hate speeches, Garba urged all the imams and preachers to create accounts on social media so that they get to know what is happening and will be able to make vital inputs that will eventually reduce the quantity of hate speeches circulated online because of the wisdom and knowledge they have. He cited a reference to Amir of Kazaure who is now functional and even has a Facebook group.

The advocacy team of CITAD included Isah Garba, Abubakar Yusuf Auyo, Ibrahim Nuhu, Mr. Nelson Ananze, Zahra Yunusa Yau and Shazali Sunusi Sulaiman.

Report of Courtesy Visit to Emir of Bukuru, Plateau State.

On 15th October, 2016 Monitoring and Countering of Hate and Dangerous Speech team of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), paid an advocacy visit to the emir of Bukuru in Plateau State.

After opening prayer, Leader of the advocacy delegation who is the Hate and Dangerous Speech Coordinator, Isah Garba briefed the emirate on the purpose of the visit and solicited the support of the emirate saying “traditional leaders are important in any activity that deals with people, and especially this that has to do with campaign against hate speech, hate speeches have been the sources of so many unfortunate incidences which do nothing but always break the bond of mutual coexistence among people, as such people need to be highly sensitized on the dangers of hate speeches, in place of it they can be sharing peace messages among themselves which will enhance respect for one another and unity”.    


Representative of the emir, Alh Ali S. Muhammed welcomed the advocacy team and said the emir is away and has asked him to convey his esteem regards to the team and pledge his support for the timely and vital project, social media is now everybody’s business, almost every category of people use it but unfortunately not as expected, instead of harvesting its true potentials some people misuse it for misguided reasons, but it is commendable that a project called “Monitoring and Countering Hate Speech” is initiated to check dangerous speeches online because if you look at what is going on online you will understand that something needs to be done to make people know the consequences of what they do and educate them on it so that they stop, otherwise the speeches may be posing danger to our peace, I assure you of our continued support to this project. We will subsequently sensitize our community leaders, youth groups and religious leaders on this, said Muhammed.

Alh Ali S. Muhammed requests that when next CITAD is visiting the palace it should please notify the palace at least one week before the visit so that they can invite relevant leaders and youth groups to also be present so that the advocacy becomes more interactive. CITAD advocacy team included Isah A. Garba, Abubakar Yusuf Auyo, Ibrahim Nuhu, Abdullahi Balarabe Yakubu Dotsa, Zahra Y. Z Ya’u and Ashshaza Sunusi Shazali Sulaiman

Report of North Central Public Sensitization on Hate and Dangerous Speech.

On 15th October, 2016 the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) organized a one day Public Sensitization Workshop on Monitoring and Countering of Hate and Dangerous Speech in Country Home Hotel, Jos, Plateau State.  The event started at 9:00am with registration of the participants, self introduction and then pretest session aimed at assessing the knowledge level of the participants about the concept of Hate and Dangerous Speech as well as Countering segment of it.  

As scheduled on the agenda,  Understanding Hate and Dangerous Speech session took the stage with Isah Garba, the Project Coordinator as facilitator who began by displaying images of what happed in Rwanda and gave a detailed background of the conflict to make audience understand the concept and danger of hate speech in order to clearly draw lessons that can be learned by the participants especially in a state that has experienced conflict between people of different tribal and religious backgrounds who lived for years in peace and harmony. Isah Garba said there is no single definition of hate speech which is accepted globally by all scholars but, any speech that fall under one of these baselines: discriminate, loot, riot, beat, forcefully evict or kill or put people to action against a particular group of people or person because of their tribe, religion, ethnicity, region, political party, gender, disability or resources, that can be regarded as hate speech.


During the presentation Garba called on all the participants to nurture and fully consider their historical and traditional methodology of maintaining peace by cracking jokes among themselves, such jokes that exist between FULANI and BAREBARI, KANAWA and ZAZZAGAWA, KATSINAWA and GOBIRAWA/HADEJAWA or among occupations like BUTCHERS and CATTLE REARERS etc, that will further strengthen understanding and promote cohesion. After his presentation, the Project Coordinator entertained questions and the need for clarification on various points raised as can be seen below:

  • A participant Umar Farouq Musa asked: is it possible to have intra-religion hate speech?

Yes there are, hate speech within the Christian communities just because of different perspectives as far as Christianity is concerned with other groups. For example, it happened to me, a friend of mine who is a Christian invited me to an occasion, when we arrived there he saw another man who was also a Christian but he sent him away, and I told him that the man was a Christian also but he said he doesn’t regard him as a Christian at all, and the reason is because of their difference in perspective. So also among the Muslims, we have seen what happened recently with Shiites, they have been discriminated, injured, and even killed because of their difference with other Islamic sects. That is why in the definition we said a group and group can be inter or intra. So, there is no limitation in as much as segment of the people have been discriminated, degraded, subjugated, and considered as subject of humiliation, any speech against them can be considered as hate speech, I hope that is understood, Isah Garba emphasized.

  • How can you relate the earlier mentioned words with hate speech, Pem Stepen asked. When the speaker uses one of these words: discriminate, loot, riot, beat, forcefully evict, kill or call to action against a particular group of people because of their  membership of a particular tribe, religion, ethnicity, region, political party, gender, disability or resources, that is a hate speech, said Isah Garba.
  • Is criticizing government policy or programs, also a hate speech? Jirituwa Goyit asked. Let us be clear about criticism, criticism does not mean call to action but if the speaker uses a phrase or words that call people to action on other groups that is regarded as hate speech, Isah Garba responded.  
  • The politicians use the slogan of vote, wait, guard and escort to the collation centre till final announcement of result (a kasa, a tsare, a raka, a jira), can that be part of hate speech? Epraim  Emah asked.
  • Samuel Doris asked, is there any law that provide punishment against hate speech?

The next session focused on Countering Hate Speech and was facilitated by Ibrahim Nuhu, it mainly elaborated on countering mechanism and how countering can help douse the frequency of hate speech. Countering is differing from peace campaign but they have the same goal, vision and mission, i.e promoting and maintaining peace and harmony. We should also be careful using ambiguous phrases, statements or words. We believed in destiny  and we are Nigerians, so we don’t have any place better to live than Nigerian as such we have to respect our traditions, tribes, ethnicity and gender no matter what.

The event ended at 3:30pm. The Public Sensitization on Hate and Dangerous Speech team included Isah Garba, the Senior Program Officer and Project coordinator Hate and Dangerous Speech, Ibrahim Nuhu, Shazali Sunusi, Abubakar Yusuf Auyo Zahra Yunusa and Balarabe Yakubu.

Report of the Northeast Region public Sensitization on Hate and Dangerous Speech

On Tuesday 11th October, 2016, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) organized a one day Public Sensitization Lecture on Hate and Dangerous Speech  in NANNM Secretariat Damaturu, Yobe State,Nigeria.  


The event started with registration of participants at 9:00am and participants self-introduction which was the next item on the agenda. . Thereafter, Isah Garba being the Project Coordinator and Senior Programmes Officer gave a welcome remarks on behalf of MacArthur Foundation and Center for Information Technology  andDevelopment (CITAD) who are the conveners of the event. Welcoming all participants to the event,  he  briefed them  on what  CITAD does  as an organization in general and specifically in this project which include monitoring of hate and dangerous speech online and a lot of peace promotion activities and campaigns. He further appealed to the participants to make the occasion participatory by  making their contributions and not only  listening to the speakers.

The first paper presented was  on Understanding Hate/Dangerous Speech which was facilitated by  Isah Garba who started  with a question to the participants: Can someone tell us what hate speech is? Yusuf Tijjani Ali gave syntax meaning of both words HATE & SPEECH and also gave example of Fulani word ‘KADO’ which refers to non-fulani tribe as well Kanuri ‘Kirdi’ to him it was insult word to downgrade the value of other tribes.

The facilitator showed the pictograph of what happed in Rwanda and narrated the story in brief to make audience understand the concept and danger of hate speech better and take lesson instead . There is no single definition of hate speech accepted globally by all scholars but any speech that fall under one of these based-lines:


  • Speech that denigrates people on the basis of their membership in a group, such as an ethnic or religious group.
  • Speech can harm directly or indirectly, or both.
  • Speech has a reasonable chance of catalyzing or amplifying violence by one group against another, given the circumstances in which it was made or disseminated, it is Dangerous Speech
  • A Speech in this context includes any form of expression, including images such as drawings or photographs, films, etc
  • Note dangerous speech is a part of hate which is capable of  mobilizing people to action
  • So an ordinary trader could say spiteful or inflammatory things to his customer or neighbor but because neither have the capacity to mobilize others into action it does not qualify for dangerous speech
  • We shall see that it is this capacity to catalyze people into action that is critical to the specific speech act we refer to as dangerous.


He called the attention of all participants to note or consider our historical tradition of jokes that have been in use as a means of resolving conflicts in our societies such as that which exist between Fulani and Kanuri ,   Kanawa and Zazzagawa, or among occupations like butchers and cattle rearers etc.  

He then explained how lack of means of verification and manipulation of source of information can make simple hate speech to escalate violence   citing example of what used to  happen before the  coming of  GSM or Internet Network where people use rumor to take action against other tribes or religion due to the  communication gap or lack of means of verification, but thank to ICTs development for closing that  space where anyone can verify any news by using ICTs such as GSM, Media Stations or Social Media before taking action even though it is also  seen as a medium for disseminating hate and dangerous speech

After  tea break, Strategies for countering hate speech session was facilitated by Ibrahim Nuhu who started by going back to the definition of hate speech  to refresh their mind the more and draw their attention to the fact that   before  you counter any speech you must understand hate and dangerous speech. : Countering is the general strategy to eliminate or reduce the potentials of a dangerous speech to catalyze into violence through counter speech, this may be to: neutralize the message of the dangerous speech item, Get the speaker to retract and possibly apologize and ensure people do not act on the basis of the message of the speech. Counter speech is any speech/act that seeks to neutralize or convert hate speech.

Countering is different from peace campaign, they but share the same goal and purpose. Countering is the general strategy to eliminate or reduce the potentials of a dangerous speech to catalyze into violence through counter speech.


During this session, the forum  became very interactive with questions and comments received from participants some of which are noted below:

√ We want to know the procedure of technology-based reporting by using facebook? Monday Dala asked. Ibrahim Nuhu responded by showing the procedure.

√ What about if people perceived your message in wrong way? Asked by Ahmad BRC. Isah Garba responded by calling audience to be straightforward and cautioned against use of ambiguous words. And in the event you did that and got misquoted you need to immediately retract and explain in the most simple and easy manner for your audience to understand.

√ constitutionally there was freedom of information and expression, can CITAD protect me if someone retaliate or attack  me? Ahmad Usman Abdullahi asked.  You have to report him to social media he used or CITAD, if in the market report him to sarkin kasuwa, his union, traditional rulers or police. Isah Garba responded.  


  • I have spent many years attending seminars and workshops but never  came across with most important one as this because it deals with peace building, saving lives and properties, my concerned here was the implementation of this project because it may solve the problems of Nigeria today. When it comes to religion or ethnicity area of the people use traditional rulers or religion leaders to sensitize their followers because it very sensitive_By Uche
  • The representative of Director School services called all participants to make sure they convey   the knowledge they acquire to their respective communities and entire seventeen (17) local government areas of the state. Youths at the  event really indicated interest in supporting the course of peace and staying away from hate and dangerous this workshop is a success_Dauda Hassan Katuzu
  • What I have to say was thank you because most of the things I don’t know them and the little I know I don’t even put consideration on them even when I was browsing but now it come to my notice that there are some things you have to notice/considere  every time one goes  on internet. So thank you for this opportunity-Joy Buba student from Federal Poly Damaturo.    


Lastly, Isah Garba  discussed with the Secondary School teachers  representing the invited secondary schools on the  establishment of  Peace Clubs in some selected secondary schools as  approved by ministry of education and that is why the teachers of those schools were here with us present. The ideology behind was to change the mindset of youth at adolescent stage to come up with peace ideas  by promoting peace within themselves in schools and to their respective communities at large. He also called the name of all schools suggested and the teachers  selected the patron of that Peace Club who will guide the students and lead them toward achieving desired goals.

When students graduate from secondary schools and gt get admission into tertiary institutions they  will join Student4Peace which  is  an  advance level of secondary school peace club normally found at the tertiary level. The major activities  are to help in peace campaign in their respective schools, communities, state and country at large by using social media, advocacy visit etc. the student 4 peace members have the opportunity to get connection with mentors who will guide him to achieve his target desire within the country and outside.      


The total Participants were forty seven (47) in number; forty seven percent (47%) of which   were female while fifty three percent (53%) were male.