Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Top Ten Hate Speech Terms In Nigeria And How It Is Used.

Image result for photos of hate speech 

Hate Speech which is globally proven to be a precursor of violence have since it's escalation in 2015 become a worrisome issue in Nigeria. It is quick becoming a threat to our national peace and it has led to many online wars and offline violence which have claimed so many lives.

To help curb the dangerous and prevailing trend, Non governmental organizations and some government agencies have put together programmes that seek to adequately address Hate Speech and proffer solution for the interest of promoting peace in the country.

PeaceTechLab an international body in collaboration with CITAD(Centre For Information Technology and Development) carried out a robust survey and identified the following as top 10 Hate Speech Terms in Nigeria: (The survey is still in progress, final report will be out before December.)

1. Nigeria is a zoo - This is largely used by Biafra agitators who refer to Nigeria as a zoo. Apparently we are all Nigerians and live in one Nigeria.

2. Aboki - This is ironical because it means, friend. It is my most used word with my hausa friends who get friendlier when I call them aboki. However, the word is misunderstood by a good number of Nigerians as derogatory word which describe Hausa/Fulanis as illiterates and uncivilized. It has become contextual, so my people use it wisely. Our equality as a people should never be undermined. 

3. Arne - I learnt this is an hausa word for infidel or unbeliever. Nigeria is a heterogeneous country with freedom of expression/worship. We are all brothers and sisters of different faith but one God. In the real sense, we are all believers and equal before God. An Arne belief is extremism and a threat to lives.

4. Boko Haram - Sadly Nigerians refer to their fellow brothers as boko haram just because they are from a part of the country, or for some other reasons. It is completely a dangerous word and no one except the extremist sect should be referred to as such.

5. Parasites - This word have long existed and it is used on those who are seen as non-contributors. Today it is playing out in ethnic intolerance on settlers and also by oil producing States who think every other Nigerian is eating from what they produce. An adequate look at the country and you will see that all the States of the federation play a vital role in contributing to the welfare of the country as a whole. 

6. Almajiri - This have become a discriminatory word but the almajiris have a unique story that is honorable. They are as human as every other Nigerian. If you don't have a good understanding of the word, please do not use it on anyone.

7. Inyamiri - In igbo i learnt inyamiri means bring me water and it is a term used during the war by helpless igbos who asked for water and food for survival. Today the word is used by Northerners to deride SouthEasterners/Igbos. Inyamiri have become an offensive word and perpetrators must decease from the use of the word.

8. Animal - This is referring to a group of persons as less intelligent, void of feelings and self-control. It is very derogatory, we are humans not animals!

9. Biafrats - It is intended to denigrate Biafra agitators. Given the history of civil war it is seen as a fuel for another war. The use of the term should be prohibited. Those who agitate should do that peacefully, while the rest of us see everyone as Nigerians. No need at all for name calling. #OneNigeria.

10. Product of Baby Factory - Hian! So Nigerians refer to a group of people as product of baby factory? According to a survey respondent, this term is used to denigrate Igbos as people who are born outside of marriage, in centers where girls are sheltered and offer sexual services to those in need, and where the babies are sold for ritual purposes. This is completely not true and unfair!

They are more hate speech terms but following the survey, this appears to be the top ten. These terms were also agreed at a think tank forum on Hate Speech as vehicles driven by events such as election era, corruption and other factors to instigate hate and violence majorly by political elite for selfish gains.

Whatever the case maybe, Nigeria's peace and unity is non-negotiable. We must decease from every word and action that instigate war and stay united as a people. Nigeria's peace is our peace. #OneNigeria.

Stay tuned for #ForPeaceSake.

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