Inflammatory and Hate Speech by Nigerian Political Class and the National Question: A Discourse
This paper attempts a critical discourse of hate speech in Nigeria with special focus on the 2015 and 2019 general elections It focuses on the effects of political activities and hate speeches that accompanied the heightened political activities during the elections. The paper utilized the content analysis or secondary/published speech/articles on hate and other related publications in the context of the provisions of the Nigeria Constitution, the Nigeria Electoral Act and Journalism Ethics Code provisions on hate speech. The analysis of volumes of speeches in the newspapers, magazines and other recorded public speeches on campaign grounds showed that the media have been used by politicians to promote hatred and instigate violence among ethnic and political groups during the electioneering periods and beyond. It is recommended that media practitioners/journalists should always be careful in publishing politicians’ messages by evaluating the wordings, innuendoes and falsehood. The government should intensify actions on the reduction of divisive manipulations by the political class and should formulate policies and legal framework to stem the tide of national, anarchy, and disunity, and achieve real and sustainable national reconciliation. Keywords: Hate speech; Media, Discourse analysis, Political class, Ethnic relations.