Federal Government, yesterday, said it had intercepted three anti-Igbo songs in circulation. It condemned the act, saying voices of hate, misunderstanding and lack of appreciation had begun to blur the beautiful diversity for which the world admired Nigeria.
“NOA is in possession of at least three songs already recorded to preach hate in our communities. Two out of these songs are in mass circulation in the social media, particularly on Facebook and Youtube. The latest one was only released three days ago. The more disturbing part of this is that each of the songs appears to want to outdo the other,” Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, said at a press conference in Abuja.
Abari who disclosed that security agencies have begun manhunt for composers and sponsors of the hate songs and recordings, vowed that government would do everything possible to protect lives and property of Nigerians.
“We are also aware that messages from Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group have continually been filled with hate and derision for other ethnic communities. We have also noticed that those who dare to call them to order have become the subject of attack by these groups through their songs and messages,” he stated.
He said the current altercations and vituperations of hate across the country by individuals, well-known leaders, religious leaders, groups of persons and organisations were ominous signs of looming disaster, which if unchecked, would plunge the country into crisis with deadly destructive effects.
The NOA DG noted that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had devoted most of the last two months in consultations with leaders of thoughts from every region to re-emphasise the imperatives of unity, stressing that from those consultations, it was clear that Nigerians were desirous of a united country.
He further disclosed that State Directorates and Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOs) of NOA had been directed to commence peace-building sensitisation and advocacy visits to settler communities to reassure them of government’s commitment to their safety and security, in order to contain the several agitations by ethno-religious interests, which had also led to illegal quit orders and counter orders against some communities.
He added that the agency would soon embark on a nationwide advocacy campaign against hate and intolerance.
Meanwhile, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has flayed the silence of some northern leaders in the wake of the rising wave of hate songs against Igbo.
President General of the body, Chief John Nnia Nwodo said it was surprising that northern leaders were yet to openly condemn the hate songs.
He stated this in a statement he personally signed.
“The current Hausa hate song trending in the social media is despicable, sad and disappointing. Ohanaeze is appalled that prominent leaders in the north (with the exception of a few), have allowed this development to flourish without reproach.
“The Arewa youths have stoked the embers of hatred to a discomforting temperature. The toleration of their criminal conduct has portrayed the Federal government as biased and unfair.”
The former minister of information added: “Their quit notice to fellow Nigerians to leave any part of Nigeria strikes at the fundamental rights of citizenship. It is a call for the dissolution of the country. Their call for an inventory and seizure of assets of Nigerians living in the North is conversion. It amounts to a daylight robbery of lawful property.
“The declaration of mop up action after October 1 to deal with those who resist their quit notice order is a declaration of war. It is surprising that on top of all these, a hate song calling for more hatred, despise and “abortion” has been allowed to fester. Yet, no one is arrested. All the orders of arrest from Kaduna State and the IGP seem to be ambivalent and unreal. The youths meet freely with governors of northern Nigeria and northern leaders showing that they enjoy their support.”
The Ohanaeze boss warned that the development signals the beginning of a national catastrophe which if not nipped in the bud will snowball into incalculable damage to the continued existence on Nigeria as one country.
Many prominent Nigerians and groups including former president Goodluck Jonathan, ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and former Abia governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, have condemned the hate songs recorded in Hausa.