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Election:  NHRC expresses concern over inciting statements by politicians


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC )has expressed concern over the rise in hate speech across the country, fueled by politicians seeking political patronage.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu, SAN, expressed this concern in Abuja, ahead of the Gubernatorial and State Assembly polls on Saturday.

“This trend has led to ethnic and religious sentiments, being used to create division, fear, and hatred among different groups,” he said.

He lamented that the menace had also crept into places of worship, where religious leaders have joined “the unholy enterprise of spreading hate speeches”.

“The use and misuse of social media to spread ethnic and religious hate-laced messages are also worrisome, with far-reaching and complex implications.

“These incidents can lead to violence and tension, between different religious and ethnic groups, disrupt social, cultural, and religious harmony, and affect rights to associate, assemble, freedom of movement, and the right to live in any part of the country.

It can also lead to a breakdown of law and order, increasing vulnerabilities and risks, including death, internal displacements, kidnapping, drug use, recruitment into terrorist activities, and other forms of human rights and humanitarian concerns” he said.

Ojukwu reiterated that Nigeria is a party to regional and international human rights instruments that reinforce and guarantee everyone’s right to association.

He, therefore, called on the government to take all steps to reaffirm its commitment to the secular nature of the Nigerian State under section 10 of the Constitution.


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