By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Ahead of the 2019 general election, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has warned Nigerians against hate speech, which it said is capable of rending the nation into shreds.
Handing down the warning at the 2017 Annual Summit of the NBC heldÂ â€Žin Jos, Plateau State, the Director General of the commission,Â Isâ€™haq Modibbo Kawu, noted that:Â â€œIn recent times, there have been spiked tendencies towards hate speech in Nigerian broadcasting. The height of that was in the lead to the 2015 general election. We were all witnesses to the unprecedented output of hate materials, especially on television, directed against President Muhammadu Buhari as the then opposition presidential candidate, on national television.
â€œIt was because of that and the danger that hate and dangerous speech portends for the health of society, that the NBC recently commissioned a special study of hate speech in Nigeria, the consequences and how to avert its future propagation in Nigerian broadcasting.â€
Kawu added that:Â â€œThe political economy of the country is in dire straits, and there is despair in the land. We are dealing with a restive youth population; where 63% of the population is under the age of 25, and 75% under 35.
“The economy is not creating the jobs that would absorb these young people, thus leading to an increasingly alienated population of angry youth, who are readily mobilised around politicised identity issues. The result is the deepening of distrust and the breakdown of peaceful co-existence in town and country.