SAN FRANCISCO, August 11, (THEWILL) – The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, has warned that Nigerians risk the loss of their freedoms if the rising wave of hate speeches is allowed to snowball into a war situation.
He asked all state directorates of the agency, community orientation and mobilisation officers of the agency to commence peace building sensitisation and advocacy visit to settler communities to reassure them of government’s commitment to their safety and security.
The NOA boss explained that the directive was part of efforts to address concerns arising from agitations that have led to illegal quit orders and counter-orders issued to some ethnic groups.
He stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, urging all Nigerians to promote national cohesion, love and unity in order to sustain the peaceful development of the country.
Abari stated that the current altercations and vituperations of hate across the country by individuals, well-known leaders, religious leaders, groups of persons and organisations had a strong foreboding of looming disaster.
“Our concern is that the social fabric of our nation is being ruined and we stand at risk of an impending crisis in the face of unchecked hate and divisive speeches,” the DG said.
He recalled that the 30 months Civil War of July 1967 to January 1970, in which over two million of the country’s compatriots lost their lives, was preceded and started by intolerance and a series of hate pronouncements, hate speeches, hate conducts and hate actions inflicted upon one another by the citizens.
Abari, therefore, stressed that if the nation is allowed to be plunged into a crisis just because of the antics of irresponsible few, no one will be spared of the deadly destructive effects.
His words, “The latest disturbing aspect of this trend is that of hate songs. NOA is in possession of at least three songs already recorded to preach hate in our communities. Two out of these songs are in mass circulation in the social media, particularly on Facebook and YouTube. The latest one was released three days ago.”
The NOA boss however assured that the federal government is committed to its constitutional obligation to ensure the safety and security of all Nigerian citizens, wherever they maybe and is taking all necessary measures in that regard in the face of the current situation.