The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has called on conveners and organizers of #RevolutionNow to be cautious in the use of hyperbolic and sensational words as they may be interpreted otherwise thereby heightening the already tense situation in the country.
In a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Centre, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd) in Abuja, the Centre said the tension and restiveness which are generated by the deteriorating conflict trends are further aggravated by the prevalent hate speeches and resentful communication in the polity.
“This is a dangerous development which if not well managed and timely too, could spark off national crisis with far reaching consequences”, the statement said.
It further said while it will not question the right to peaceful protest by individuals or groups, the process must be done in tandem with constitutional provisions.
“Sensational and hyperbolic words such as ‘Revolution Now’ if loosely used, will no doubt be misinterpreted thereby heightening tensions and heating up the polity. There is the need on the part of the government and the governed to always exercise restraint in conflict or crisis situation”, it said.
“Therefore, we do not call for revolution in the current democratic setting in Nigeria. We call on all well-meaning individuals, groups, state and non-state actors to see this unwarranted and surreptitious call as a serious threat to our nascent democracy”.
The CCC boss also said the Centre for Crisis Communication’s conflict trends analysis for the first half of 2019 reveals an upswing in internal security challenges in several parts of Nigeria. Contemporary security challenges that currently assail the country include terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, herders/farmers clash, ethno-religious conflict, separatist agitation, rape, cattle rustling, human trafficking, drug addiction, ritual killing and cyber-crime/internet fraud (Yahoo-Yahoo).
Meanwhile the Centre has condemned in its entirety the growing toxic narrative that is purveyed in the country especially in the social media which tends to demonize the Fulanis, pitching them against others.
The centre noted that the orchestrated effort to criminalize the entire Fulani ethnic group was unacceptable, and therefore rejects the unfortunate narrative that collectively demonizes them as inherently evil and therefore guilty of whatever crime is attributed to them, adding that there are criminals in every ethnic group and all crimes should be dealt with accordingly.
The centre also notes with great concern that a section of the media has succeeded in giving every criminal and potential ones the use of Fulani alibi as a cover, stressing that ethnic profiling is dangerous to the society as the endpoint is ethnic cleansing.
The centre calls on Government not sit aside and watch while toxic media flourish in our airwaves, adding that Nigerians, particularly media practitioners and operators of various social media handles need to be reminded of the dangers of unidirectional stories.