Philip Atume

A Niger Delta activist Comrade Joseph Evah has said that the Federal Government is not doing enough to curb hate speech, adding that it will need to go extra mile to douse the tension.

Evah who was a guest on the programme Today on STV, also identified idleness as one  of the things that are causing hate speeches.

He said, “When people are idle, some set of people mobilize and manipulate them, then they follow the negative trend.”

He also said, “The politicians are the ones manipulating the country, anytime they want power they look for angle to create tension and division among the people for their own selfish interest.”

He stressed specifically that politicians beat the drum, youth  raise the alarm to cause crisis and that is why when some people make hate speeches, nobody arrest them because the politicians will call the Inspector General of Police.

Speaking on restructuring, Eva said that the National Assembly had a big role to play but rather it had contributed to the problem of the country by politicizing every issue.

According to him, it is unacceptable and condemnable for the NASS to conduct secret vote during the debate for restructuring at the red chambers.

He said, “Hatred should not get to the extent of one region threatening and giving quit notice to the other region.”

He also called on religious leaders and churches to mobilize against hate speeches saying, prayer is not enough, quoting “faith without works is dead” urging them to preach against hate speeches in their various church.

He appealed to Nigerians to manage their differences through dialogue and conferences because there is no country that can accommodate us when we have crisis.

He said when there is tension, the government should commit itself and look for people who are committed, and send them to go and talk to the people.

Religious people have to go extra mile to make sure they are involved in this campaign called hate; giving an example of the Ozubulu Church attack.

Mrs. Comfort Ogunmola, from the department of child development and statistics, NOA also shared her view by condemning hate speeches; assuring the public that National Orientation Agency is playing its role in the fight against hate speeches.

Stating further from Abuja studio, she said, NOA is sensitizing the public through social media, making them to understand the implications of hate speeches.

She said another means that can be used to curb hate speeches is “the use of opinion leaders”, through town hall meetings.

Giving an example why it has been difficult, she said we don’t have leaders that live by example that is why we don’t have values any longer.

Comrade Joseph Eva concluded with an appeal to Nigerians that they should all listen to elders, because in every culture, there is leadership and one of the things used in managing conflict in the Niger Delta is the use of elders.