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RECENTLY, the country was almost engulfed in flames over the marching orders to Igbo to vacate the northern parts of Nigeria having overstayed their welcome in the North resulting from the agitation back home in the South East by their kith and kin to secede from Nigeria.  A coalition of misguided Arewa Youths northern Nigeria reportedly gave Nigerians of Igbo extraction an eviction notice which heated up the polity amid outstanding clamour and agitation for secession by the latter via well-organized secessionist movements particularly the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s sister group, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). While the writer condemns in the strongest terms the quit order having violated their constitutionally guaranteed rights to live in any part of Nigeria, the writer also condemns in its entirety the use of hate speeches, expletives that have set the nation on fire.
There is no denying the fact today that hate speeches abound, to hold a contrary opinion alone is often greeted with yells of hate and damning expletives. Evidence of these abounds on the social media, particularly on Facebook groups and pages. Nigeria, you will all agree with me, has never been this divided. President Muhammadu Buhari has been consistently driving everyone nuts by his seeming intransigence on thorny and burning issues that make us differ which are capable of triggering a huge conflagration if not now but certainly later. Adopting a cosmetic approach under the existing circumstances instead of heeding the voices of reason by tackling these problems head-on would only lead Nigeria to a disastrous end.For starters, let us examine these issues in turn.

Although the problems have always been there unaddressed, they were hardly noticeable until Nigeria was caught in an agonizing web, diabolic whims and caprices of an ethnic jingoist, paranoiac and a self-appointed overlord whose words and actions reek of nothing but bear the trademarks of intrinsic hypocrisy. In 2014, Nigeria under the leadership of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan called a National Conference to deal with thorny issues that divide us as a people and as a nation via discourse and every section of the country was aptly represented but the report of that Confab was thrown into the trash can by his successor who told a bewildered nation that the report belongs to none other than the archives and the problems which the resolutions and report of the Confab were meant to solve keep rearing its ugly head on the ascending order of magnitude while the government he leads keeps failing at every turn. President Buhari, instead of allowing the sleeping dogs to lie, went ahead, damned all consequences and bearded the lion in its den via lopsided appointments, nepotism, favoritism, and suppression of dissent voices under his Tsarist regime.
Life has become so worthless in Nigeria that herders take it at the drop of a hat. In this connection, many villages and villagers have been overrun and razed by a band of invading devil-may-care herders who seem to be enjoying the support and protection of an overlord who acts behind the scene. Only last week, some Fulani herders raped and killed women in the northern parts of Edo State and one of the young men among the peaceful protesters against the crying injustice was shot in the leg by an armed soldier. The leg was later amputated at Federal Medical Centre at Irrua, Edo State. In fact, a lot of other heinous crimes being committed by the state against its own people have been going on unchecked. Scores have been killed by the invading band of Fulani marauders. A
Be that as it may, it is high time the Federal Government rebuilt confidence in the minds of the citizenry and took urgent steps to address the thorny issues threatening to tear the nation apart under the existing circumstances. I read in a national daily the letter written by Arewa youths to the Acting President on the need to allow the Igbo to have Biafra in spite of the peace meetings and initiatives by the Acting President to find a lasting solution to the ongoing tension that the quit order to the Igbo has created in the country. It is a thousand pities Nigeria’s sovereignty is being sacrificed on the altar of individual whims and caprices as individuals and groups emerge at will to foist their will on not only their supporters but on the whole country and hate speeches and expletives are employed in this regard which portends nothing but a serious danger to the people. What is certain here is that the central authority is becoming paralyzed by intrigues, maladministration, social upheavals and the gross incompetence of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress.
To the Biafra separatist movements, we must now turn. Although the agitation for Biafra did not start with the Buhari’s administration but the policies being implemented renewed the agitation this time with undiminished intensity. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Southeasterners have complained of marginalization which President Buhari has consistently paid deaf ears to and these ought not to be after all. The calls for a restructuring of the country which would have allowed every region to develop at its own pace has equally fallen on deaf ears. Recently, the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives’ Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, lent his voice to the barrage of voices to urgently restructure the country as the only way to end all agitations and save the country from imminent disintegration, Goodness knows if his call will make an impact on the Abuja regime.No one tribe is greater than the other and no region must be allowed to assume the exalted position of an ‘OVERLORD’. Fortunately or unfortunately, this has been going on for quite sometime now which has given rise to ill-feelings and discontent nationwide.
*Iyoha John Darlington wrote from Turin, Italy.
The post 'Curbing hate speech' appeared first on the Nigerian Tribune. 

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