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General - December 5, 2016

Nigerian youth cautioned against negative use of social media


By Adam Alqali

Nigerian youth have been cautioned against using  social media platforms to promote hate and dangerous speech, which is capable of inciting violence and breaching peace in the society.

The word of caution was sounded to the youth by hate speech expert Abdulganiyu Rufai while speaking on hate and dangerous speech at a sensitization workshop organized for the youth by Base Above Concepts , with the support of the Nexus Fund, on Saturday in Kano, Nigeria’s second city.

“As a means of communication that is open to everyone, social media can be purveyors of problems including spreading hate and dangerous speech; they can also be a platform for recruiting youth into violent engagements,” said Rufai, who is also the chief executive of Digital Development Hub (DD-Hub).

“Dangerous speech is a part of hate speech which is capable of mobilizing people to action, and which in this context includes any form of expression, including images such as drawings or photographs, films, etc.”

Speaking to African Newspage, Sylvester Ejeikwu Adah, CEO of Base Above Concepts said the sensitization campaign was aimed at the enlightening youth on the tendencies of hate speech to bring about the breakdown of law and order adding that until peace was achieved in Nigeria and other African countries there would never be development on the continent.

“The youth are the strength of all societies and that is why we are targeting them; they are the voice of the society and where ever they go others follow. And if there are conflicts they are the so called foot soldiers which is why we want them to understand the tendencies of hate speeches of bringing about violence,” said Michael Sodipo, the country representative of Nexus Fund in Nigeria

The one-day workshop brought together youth of diverse ethnic and religious background and also had in attendance religious leaders of both the Muslim and Christian faiths who admonished the youth on the need for peaceful coexistence among followers of both faiths.


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