Prof. Christopher Kolade, Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, has warned against the dangers of hate speech and stressed the need to tackle the menace.
The 86-year-old business mogul and broadcaster stated this during the 66th General Assembly of the Broadcasters Organisation of Nigeria (BON) in Lagos.
Dr Christopher Kolade
He spoke on “Hate Speech and the Nigerian Broadcast Industry,” and maintained that hate speech if not addressed could hinder the nation’s unity.
“Hate speech is injurious to our joint endeavour. We know that hate speech can jeopardise the success of what we want to do together,” he said.
According to the former envoy, hate speech wreaks havoc on fostering unity as backed by the nation’s constitution.
“We know that if we want to live as our constitution says, the constitution says we the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria having firmly and solemnly resolved to live in peace and harmony, we know that hate speech will not let that happen.”
The BON Assembly is a gathering of key stakeholders in Nigeria’s broadcasting industry to brainstorm on how to make next year’s general election conducted without stress.
Kolade blamed the liberalisation of the broadcasting world on the creation of the social media.
He, therefore, implored broadcasters and key players to communicate effectively with the public in a responsible manner.
The former envoy strongly believes that the problems associated with hate speech can be effectively dealt with by media professionals.
“For those who are leading BON today, the responsibility of dealing with hate speech now belongs to you. Let us never forget that we are voluntarily working together on objectives that we share.”
With the general elections less than a year from now, Nigerians expect that these efforts put together would pay off especially when proper campaigns take place across the country later in the year.
Kolade was sometime Director–General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. He was Chief Executive and Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc and formerly the Nigerian High Commissioner