• Arewa group: Blame Kanu, IPOB
From Romanus Ugwu and Magnus Eze, Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has warned perpetrators of hate-speeches, images and songs that their actions were worse than Boko Haram insurgence.
He described as “dangerous and despicable” an audio recording currently being circulated, especially in the north.
Oyegun urged the security agencies to promptly apprehend those behind the recording and other similar acts, “no matter who they are.”
“Every ethnic based crises of whatever nature had started with hate speech. When people within the same country frame and define one another in the manner intended to set them up for violent attack, then they are setting themselves up for a major disaster.
“The merchants of hate don’t know or just don’t care about the consequences of the fire they are stoking in the country. But they have the experiences of other countries to learn from. Rwanda remains a classic example on our continent. However, even as terrible as Rwanda was, it would be nothing compared to what could happen if a huge country like Nigeria is allowed to fall into the disaster of hate-driven conflict. This is why we must all rise, regardless of our political differences and condemn these ugly and shameful acts with one voice,” he said.
Odigie-Oyegun further observed that even though ethnic distrust is not new in the country, the rising wave of hate speech, negative religious and ethnic utterance and actions as currently being experienced, was part of the fallouts of the 2015 presidential election.
Many prominent Nigerians and groups including former president Goodluck Jonathan, ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar and former Abia governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, had condemned the hate song recorded in Hausa.
However, the Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA) blamed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, for the quit notice to Igbo resident in the north and the anti-Igbo song circulation on the social media.
Spokesman of AYA, Muhammed Salihu Danlami, who addressed newsmen, said allowing Kanu to continue flouting his bail condition of not being in a gathering of more than 10 persons indicated that the government was not serious.
The group called on security agencies to immediately arrest the IPOB leader.
Though Danlami said his group was not working with the Yerima Shettima-led Coalition of Arewa Youths, he explained that the quit notice might not be withdrawn unless Kanu refrained from creating tension in the land.