Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Anambra-East and West federal constituency in the forthcoming 2019 general elections, Chief Chinedu Obidigwe, says he is a victim of hate speeches and aspersions cast on him by those who he said offered to handle social media publications for him but revolted against him because he declined such offers.
Obidigwe, who was the Chairman of the press week of the Anambra council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists held on Monday in Awka, decried the situation where most people deliberately dwelt on falsehood and malignant publications especially on the social media to spite those they had been allegedly paid to assassinate their character and personality.
The astute politician who spoke on the adverse effects of hate speeches, explained that hate speeches had to do with inciting the citizenry, stressing that some social media influencers indulged in hate speeches because some politicians had purportedly paid them to engage in such vices.
According to him, hate speeches are fueled by desperation on the part of some over-ambitious politicians who he claimed paid people to write what they cannot defend if called upon to do so adding that the nation has had laws on cyber crimes and some other laws guiding information dissemination and that it was the duty of the Nigeria Union of Journalists to investigate people who claimed to be journalists whereas they were not.
Obidigwe also observed that many of such individuals were impostors and impersonators not registered with the Nigeria Union of Journalists but own blogs where they post junks and half truths, stressing that there was need to crosscheck facts and figures before feeding the public with wrong information and perspectives. He said “myself who is standing before you here is one of the victims of this very hate speech. Many of them have called me a lot of names …”
The APGA chieftain however challenged the NUJ Anambra state council to checkmate the activities of social media operators as well as other print publications, pointing out that there should be guiding principles governing what people publish to avoid hate speeches capable of causing disaffection amongst the people. He said journalists should be solution-providers not trouble-makers.