Thursday, 8 June 2017

NHRC condemns alleged quit notice on Igbo, says it amounts to hate speech

NHRC condemns alleged quit notice on Igbo, says it amounts to hate speech

THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned in strong terms the reported statement credited to Arewa youth that all Igbo people residing in the northern part of the country should vacate before October 1, 2017.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mrs Oti Ovrawah said the alleged quit notice, to say the least, is not only provocative and a serious threat to national peace and security, but a clear violation of the fundamental human rights of all Nigerians to reside, acquire and own immovable properties in any part of the country as guaranteed under section 43 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Ovrawah, in her reaction to the statement issued by Arewa youth, observed that the outburst amounts to hate speech and inciting comments with potential to ignite ethnic and religious violence which constitute a serious affront on human rights.

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The Acting Executive Secretary called on relevant security agencies as well as the Federal and the various state governments to be more vigilant and ensure that these allegations are properly investigated with a view to bringing any offender to justice in the bid protect lives and properties of all the citizens across the country. Similarly, she used the opportunity to urge the various socio-political groups in the country to preach the message of peace, tolerance and human rights and eschew all forms of provocative statements that fan the embers of violence.

Reiterating the commitment of the Commission to address issues of hate speech, election related violence and extra-judicial killings in the country, the Acting Head of the Commission urged the members of the public to report any form of human rights violation to the Commission; and never to resort to self-help.

She called on security agencies to be alert and nip in the bud, any form of public disturbance that might arise as result of the alleged quit notice so as to reinforce people’s confidence in the ability of the government to protect them.

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