I have not abused, attacked anyone as APC spokesperson – Bolaji Abdullahi

Bolaji Abdullahi
Bolaji Abdullahi

The National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, on Tuesday said he intends to organise a workshop for party spokespersons across the country to enhance political communication between parties and Nigerians.

Mr. Abdullahi, who spoke during the ongoing Social Media Week in Lagos, said the workshop has been among his plans since resumption of office.

“Going back to every statement I have made since January when I started, you will not see any single place where someone is being abused or attacked. Where we don’t know, we simply say we don’t know.”

The APC publicity secretary was appointed to the position last December, replacing Lai Mohammed, the current minister of Information and Culture.

Mr. Abdullahi, a former Sports and Youth Development minister, said the biggest challenge to security in the country is the upsurge in the circulation of fake news.

“What makes it particularly dangerous is not just because it is bad in itself but because of the pervasive nature and the ubiquity that makes it so difficult to control. But I believe that the technology has created this situation, but the technology also has the capacity to correct itself,” he said.

“That’s why we keep emphasising on education, an individual can decide that I don’t want to be part of it. I think we can make progress.”

On the APC national convention, Mr. Abdullahi said it would hold “before April.”

“We are moving gradually towards it, we are waiting on the constitution review committee to finish its work because one of the key things that will be considered at the convention is the amendment of the constitution.”

Earlier, during a panel discussion titled “Online Hate Speech: Can Social Media Reduce Its Spread,” Mr. Abdullahi accused the APC and the Peoples’ Democratic Party of playing active roles in promoting hate speeches in the run-up to the 2015 general elections.

“In 2015, the two major parties were guilty, the APC and PDP were guilty,” he said.

“They turned the 2015 elections into war and when there is war, anything can happen. I complained about the calibre of language some of the spokespersons of political parties used…. Nigeria has to go back to rectify what happened in 2015.”

Mr. Abdullahi said Nigerians set themselves up for a major crisis when they see themselves as killers, kidnappers and armed robbers while noting that the challenge before Nigerians is controlling hate speech so as not to infringe on free speech as the latter is the oxygen for democracy.

“About hate speech, we are talking about hatred, what people say to one another has always been the bedrock of so many fights,” he said.

“When you call Muslims chemical wastes as it’s happening in North America, you don’t see human beings again but a way to eradicate that waste.

“We set ourselves up for a major crisis when we don’t see an armed robber for what he truly is, but a Yoruba armed robber, not a killer but a Fulani herdsman killer and not a kidnapper but an Igbo kidnapper. The oxygen for democracy is free speech. The challenge therefore is how do we control hate speech as not infringing on free speech?”

Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, the Commissioner of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, said hate speech is not just a Nigerian problem.

“The challenge at a global level is the weaponisation of hate speech and it is undermining the liberal democracy,” Mr. Ajijola said.

“We live in an age of never forgetting. This is about we and not the government or Facebook or other social media. When you post on Facebook, taking back that post officially will take three years and that’s why we need to be careful. Social media thrives on attention, don’t like hate speeches, don’t re-tweet hate speeches and don’t share hate speeches.”


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  • Kamalu

    It is very encouraging that APC as a political party has recognized the great damage the hate speeches propagated in the run up to the 2015 general elections has continued to have on the polarization of the country along ethno-religious lines. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step. Well done Mr. Abdullahi for the nationalistic initiative.

    • sab

      When they manufactured ‘clueless’ thinking they can use it on the then president and possibly dump it afterwards, little did they know that that they were planting a seed by the river side. Now it has germinated and the they have turned out to be the victims with the current President as major target. What you sow, they say, is what you reap.

      • Patriot

        Maybe you didn’t know that APC had not even existed when Nigerians who were disappointed with the last administration started calling the leadership clueless. This proves what we are saying that PDP fabricates and lie everytime and blame their misfortunes on APC or Tinubu when they don’t know what to do again. Nigerians, not APC identified and tagged that regime as clueless bcos of underperformance

  • paul irumundomon

    You must not be a member of apc, or probably from another planet.

  • Champ

    It is too late Bolaji. Your party thrives on it to power and wants a redress you must be kidding

  • Patriot

    Insulting, lying, fabricating, abusing, hating, these are the trademarks of PDP before, during and after 2015 elections up till today. Go and check the speeches of Abati, Metu, FFK, Reno, Mama P, and recently Adadeji, all are full of insults, hateful and abusive words. So if APC once in a while responded to them in like manner, you can’t really blame them bcos PDP pushed APC to the wall and were forced to react in the same measure. Even on this forum, the most abusive ppl so far are from SE/SS because they are PDP and that’s PDP’s trademark in addition to looting. It will be nice if those involved can become more civil when addressing other people. One can make his point without abusing, insulting and disrespecting.