The United Nations, on Friday, said that election season in Nigeria has witnessed a surge in the use of inflammatory language, hateful and divisive rhetoric.
United Nations Under Secretary General – Special Adviser, on the Prevention of Genocide, Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, expressed this concerns, during a press conference, at United Nations Building in Abuja, ThisNigeria reports.
She disclosed that Diaspora blogs and social media posts, fueling the normalization of violence are also deep concern.
Ms. Nderitu, who is in Nigeria on a working visit, said, hate speech, especially if accompanied by policies and practices that discriminate against populations based on their identify often results in hate crimes, discrimination, and violence and can be both a precursor and a trigger of atrocity crimes, in particular genocide.
On the warning signs of genocide, the UN Under Secretary General, said: “Early warning signs and risk factors include dissemination of hate speech and absence of independent mechanisms to address it; politicization of identity, proliferation of local militias and other armed groups, particularly dehumanizing type of violence inflicted upon civilians based on their ethnicity, religion, race, or nationality, intergroup tensions and attack against civilian populations, long standing structural discrimination, deep economic inequalities and social exclusion, and shrinking democratic and civic spaces among others. While elections are sometimes not a risk factor, they have in some instances provided excuses for exacerbating tensions that could lead to violence.”
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