Popular Business Coach and the Executive Director of the Ugwumba Leadership Center, Mr. Remy Chukwunyere has joined other well meaning Nigerians to preach against hate speech and the spread of fake news.
Mr. Chukwunyere, popularly known as the #JobCreationAddict, he bared his mind via his official social media platforms earlier today.
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HATE SPEECH IS NOT AN ADVOCACY TOOL
According to the Bible and other Holy Books, hatred is described as a sin. Unfortunately, hate speech is gradually eating deep into the Nigerian society, especially those who are privileged to have access to the internet and social media.
Contrary to the purposes for which social media platforms were created, many Nigerians have turned facebook, twitter, etc into avenues for the initiation and propagation of fake news and hate speeches against their fellow Nigerians, especially those in the Government.
During elections, these people usually see the social media as war fields where they release unprintable and unimaginable comments against opponents of their paymasters. Surprisingly, their paymasters who they go to war on social media for, as core politicians do not have permanent friends, nor permanent enemies. Immediately after each election season, you see them frolicking with their opponents in high class gatherings and political meetings while their social media soldiers continue the war against each other, unabated.
I am constantly worried by the level of hatred many Nigerians have expressed for the leaders of this country in recent times. Even as a religious society, we seem to disregard the Biblical injunctions which clearly state that “all authority is from God”and that “we should pray for all those in authority”. Instead of obeying these commands of God, our people are getting used to cursing and insulting our leaders on a daily basis, even publicly on social media.
For the majority of these Nigerians, who are deeply engrossed in this hate speech business, they confuse the act for advocacy, which is a tool used by journalists and development activists to oppose unpopular policies of the government.
Recently, the move to arrest the barrage of fake news and hate speeches against the government through legislation became a big issue. For this class of Nigerians, the failed bill was as an attempt to cage the opposition and the masses. Unfortunately, they do not know that one cannot advocate for a policy change by peddling fake news or by using hate speech as a strategy.
Even in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, these people are seen condemning government actions aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. Why on earth will anyone interpret the #lockdown policy as a punishment from the Federal Government? Why do some people think the virus is a hoax and a plot by the Government officials to loot public funds? Can’t they see that the Nigerian government is loosing almost everything in order to prevent her citizens from being decimated by the deadly virus? The negative impacts on the system are quite enormous. What about the downward review of the 2020 budget as a result of the drastic fall in global oil price. What about the billions that have been released as palliatives to cushion the effects of the lockdown on the Nigerian people?
I think, time has come for Nigerians to learn what to say and what not to say about their leaders. In a democracy like ours, everyone, including journalists and human rights activists are expected to play the roles of partners in progress and not as enemies of the state or its actors. When state actors are not encouraged as is the case in our society, how do you expect to change any of their unfriendly policies?
As a development activist, I wish to call on Nigerians to be patient with our leaders. Our country is 60 years old, while the democracy we are enjoying now is just about 20 years, so we cannot compare our system with countries whose democracies are over 100 and 200 years old.
Anyway, I may not be hundred percent correct in the opinions expressed above but my advice is that we need to exercise a bit of caution when attacking our leaders, especially in difficult times as this.
For me, I believe that we shall succeed when we work together.
Nigerian Must be Better!
I remain, the #JobCreationAddict, Remy Chukwunyere