Abuja – Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, has described perpetrators of hate speeches, images and songs in the country as worse than Boko Haram insurgents.
He said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to an audio clip that had gone viral, especially in the Northern part of the country.
Odigie-Oyegun described the development as “dangerous and despicable´´ and called on security agencies to apprehend those behind the recording and other similar acts, no matter who they were.
According to him, every ethnic based crises begins with hate speeches, when people within the same country frame and define one another in a manner intended to set them up for violent attacks.
´“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, Rwanda remains a classic example on our 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,´´ Odigie-Oyegun warned.
This, he said was why Nigerians must rise, regardless of political differences and condemn hate speeches with one voice.
He observed that though ethnic distrust was not new in the country, the rising wave of present hate speeches and ethnic utterances and actions, was part of fallout 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 because they are no longer in power,´´ Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that this was indeed tragic and called on the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to direct security agencies to ensure that those behind these odious acts were promptly arrested and brought to justice.
The APC national chairman said that the country´s leadership should not allow a few disgruntled individuals to destroy Nigeria’s democracy.