The Federal government of Nigeria, is trying every possible best at ensuring that the country is not divided and ensuring the unity of the country, they are seeing to it that hate speech is not encourage through any medium or form.
Speaking at the ongoing workshop on ‘HATE COMMUNICATION IN NIGERIA’, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed stated that the media has taken the issue very seriously but directly or indirectly, they are the ones that still provide platforms for the hate speech.
In his words, “The fact that the media takes this issue seriously is very encouraging, because, in most cases, the media – wittingly or unwittingly – provides the platform for the dissemination of hate speech.”
He stressed that hate speech is not freedom of speech because it can lead to an unhealthy luving environment as he made reference to the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
“I have always said that hate speech is not free speech. For example, while the Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of speech, it does not guarantee freedom of hate speech. That’s because hate speech could be the precursor of violence, of genocide!
“The 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which left at least 800,000 people dead, remains fresh in the memory of the world. Hate speech, or what later became known as ‘Hate Media’, was a major catalyst of that genocide,” he noted.
He further advised that “Journalists must never offer their platforms for use to communicate hate speech. They must say NO to hate speech. That’s one of the fastest ways to nip the dangers of hate speech in the bud.”