The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, has described perpetrators of hate-speeches, images and songs as worse than Boko Haram.
He said “disgruntled elements out to destroy democracy” in Nigeria over the outcome of the last general elections were responsible for the development and called on the security agencies to bring them to justice.
This was contained in Mr. Oyegun’s reaction to an audio recording currently circulating in parts of the country.
He described the material as “dangerous and despicable” and called on security agencies to promptly apprehend those behind the recording and similar acts, “no matter who they are.”
A former vice president and chieftain of the ruling party, Atiku Abubakar, had also condemned an anti-Igbo song circulating in the country.
“Every ethnic-based crisis of whatever nature had started with hate speech. When people within the same country frame and define one another in the manner intended to set them up for violent attack, then they are setting themselves up for a major disaster,” Mr. Oyegun stated.
“The “merchants of hate” don’t know or just don’t care about the consequences of the fire they are stoking in the country. But they have the experiences of other countries to learn from,” he said.
The APC leader said the Rwanda Genocide remains a classic example on the African continent.
“However, even as terrible as Rwanda was, it would be nothing compared to what could happen if a huge country like Nigeria is allowed to fall into the disaster of hate-driven conflict,” he warned.
“This is why we must all rise, regardless of our political differences and condemn these ugly and shameful acts with one voice.”
He observed that even though ethnic distrust is not new in the country, the rising wave of hate speeches, negative religious and ethnic utterances and actions currently being experienced, is part of the fallouts of the 2015 presidential election.
“Anyone participating in an election knows that there could only be two outcomes, you win or you lose. When you lose, you prepare for the next election.
“What we have seen however is that since 2015, some politicians and political groups have carried on as if they wish the country itself to collapse just because they are no longer in power. This is tragic indeed.”
Mr. Oyegun called on the Acting President to direct the security agencies to ensure that those behind the odious acts were promptly arrested and swiftly brought to justice.
“We cannot sit idle and watch a few disgruntled individuals to destroy our democracy, and God forbids, the nation that we all fought hard to achieve and build,” he stated.