Tackling the Problem of Hate Speech During Elections in Nigeria

18 June 2018
The 2011 and 2015 general elections in Nigeria were marred by hate speech and accompanied by violence.

In this paper and policy brief, Olusola Isola from the Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar explores the issue and provides policy recommendations ahead of the 2019 elections.

Employing traditional and social media, various actors labelled and demeaned opponents using derogatory words in local dialects throughout the electoral cycles. While Nigeria has shown a lack of political will to punish those who use hate speech during elections and no offender has been prosecuted, the Senate considered a bill in February 2018 which would make hate speech punishable by death.

Olusola Isola provides legal and policy recommendations to the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission, donors and civil society organizations, the media and the international community to counter and prevent hate speech while protecting freedom of expression needed during elections in Nigeria.

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