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Human Rights Commission To Name, Shame Politicians Who Engage In Hate Speech

Posted by Samuel on Fri 11th Nov, 2022 - tori.ng

Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of NHRC, said this on Friday at a stakeholders’ dialogue on the state of human rights in Nigeria.

 

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has threatened to shame people who engage in hate speech.

The Commission says it will name and shame politicians who engage in hate speech campaigns ahead of the 2023 elections.

Tony Ojukwu, executive secretary of NHRC, said this on Friday at a stakeholders’ dialogue on the state of human rights in Nigeria.

The event was organised by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Ojukwu said some politicians are not focused on issue-based campaigns but are busy with mud-slinging and capitalising on issues that could cause division.

He said hate speech is the foundation for violence and that politicians who engage in the act will be accountable for their actions.

“The issue of hate speech is really toxic. Politics is not all about trying to use foul language and incite people against each other or trying to use religion to divide them,” he said.

“I have been listening to politicians’ campaign and nobody is talking about human rights issues in their campaign agenda; nobody is talking about how to ensure women participation in politics.

“They are also not talking about how to improve the administration of justice, that cases should not be forever in courts, nor how to ensure that prison is decongested; or how do we ensure that the police no longer brutalise people. I have never heard anybody talk about that.

“The issues are more of hate speech and that is the foundation for violence in elections and when there is violence, who is the victim? Human rights violations.

“So, we cannot stay here and allow them to complicate the system in such a way that our rights will be violated and we will suffer.

“The commission’s electoral intervention is to deal with hate speech by trying to fix some accountability, naming and shaming those who are involved in hate speech campaign.”

Ojukwu charged political parties to make human rights protection a critical component of their campaign agenda, rather than indulging in hate speeches against their opponents.

On his part, John Dyegh, chairman, house of representatives committee on human rights, urged citizens to use appropriate channels to register their petitions for necessary action.

“At this time of the year when budgetary projections are being defended by agencies before standing committees of the house, we see the need to partner with PLAC to drive the conversation on the status of human rights protection in Nigeria,” Dyegh said.

“This conversation is anchored on chapter four of the constitution which expressly talks about the fundamental rights to life, rights to dignity of persons, rights to liberty, right to fair hearing, right to freedom from discrimination, among others.

“However, circumstances such as ignorance of rights and lawful use of force and other forms of intimidation have continued to hinder the realsiation of this chapter.

“The house committee on human rights have been cognizance of this oversight of all human rights issues pertaining to petitions of rights coordination and implementation of child rights act and other matters related.”

Dyegh expressed hope that resolutions from the dialogue would create a link where legislators would identify human rights violations and proffer solutions to remedy them.



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