Columns and Opinions across Nigerian Newspapers


The Virus of Hate Speech - In a recent discussion of the virus of hate speech that is plaguing the public sphere, a lawyer was reported as saying that there are more important issues worthy of attention. Now, that could amount to underrating the power of ideas as a motive force of history. The power of words and how they are deployed should never be treated with levity. Words could be a tonic for the soul; words could also be irresponsibly employed as weapons with lethal consequences. During World War II, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill proved to the world how words could be deployed to fight anti-fascist battles at the most critical moments. On the other side of the divide, German Nazi Leader Joseph Goebbels deployed hate speech against the Jews to prepare the ground for the Holocaust in which more than six millions were murdered. So the merchants of hate speech are toying with fire! It is, therefore, in the interest of the social order that the government and the people assume the responsibility of preventing destructive deployment of words.