The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) disclosed it has received 76 petitions bordering on hate speeches and electoral violence from the South South. Acting NHRC Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, who disclosed this at a sensitisation programme in Uyo, urged politicians to refrain from making statements that could cause violence and divide the country as the 2019 general elections draw near.
Ojukwu said the complaints, which are being investigated, would be handled at the public hearing organised by the commission from today. He called on complainants and alleged violators to appear before the commission as scheduled. “We have complaints from most of the states in the zone “In this session, we have 76 complaints which had been investigated before and they are going to come up during this session. This is an opportunity to give fair hearing to both the complainants and alleged violators. “We have chosen the approach of public hearing because of the large complaints received,’’ Ojukwu said.
He explained that the purpose of the sensitisation was to create awareness on dangers of hate speeches and violence during election. He further noted that the whole idea of the sensitisation was to deepen the nation’s democracy and advised that campaigns toward 2019 elections must be issue based. Ojukwu said: “the purpose of the present campaign by the NHRC is to discourage use of hate speech and violence during campaigns and election activities “For those who choose to use the tools of hate speeches and election violence, they will be investigated and prosecuted and made to account for their actions.’’