The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and rights groups have condemned a hate song that is targeted at the Igbo.
Odigie-Oyegun, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, advised the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to order security agencies to fish out the sponsors of the song.
Two Civil Society Organisations – the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project – in separate interviews also urged the police to apprehend the song’s sponsors.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had on Monday condemned the song, which wished the Igbo dead, warning that the country should not be allowed to slide into genocide like Rwanda.
In his statement, the APC national chairman described perpetrators of hate-speeches, images and songs as worse than the dreaded Boko Haram.
Odigie-Oyegun added that the anti-Igbo song that was being circulated, especially in the northern part of the country, was “dangerous and despicable.”
He said, “Every ethnic-based war started with hate speech.
“Rwanda remains a classic example on our continent. However, even as terrible as Rwanda was, it would be nothing compared to what could happen if a huge country like Nigeria is allowed to fall into the disaster of hate-driven conflict.
“We we must all rise to condemn this shameful act with one voice.”
The CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said the Federal Government must come out with a counter-propaganda video of the Nigerian civil war to discourage those drumming for war.
He said, “The government ought to have taken a better action over the notice to quite. When you leave a matter like that, it continues to fester.
“Security agencies should be on the alert to prevent the spread of the song because of its implications for our nationhood.”
Also, the SERAP Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “The law enforcement agencies should take pre-emptive action against the song.”
The factional President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi, said the issue of the notice to quit given to the Igbo by Arewa youths was not properly handled by the government.
He said, “We are worried about the way government at different levels is handling the issue of the notice to quit given to the Igbo. None of these youths that are propagating disunity in Nigeria has been arrested.
“It is because the issue has not been given the desired attention that these hate speeches emerged.”
The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, also condemned the anti-Igbo song.
Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said the song was an indication that genocide might be brewing in the country.
Odumakin said, “It is a sign of clear and present danger that this country is inching towards a Rwandan situation. The Nigerian authorities are so lame that they cannot lift a finger to do the right thing.”
A former Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, observed that the song could put the country at war.
He said, “The composer of that song is irresponsible. The person wants to put the country at war. The Igbo are Nigerians.
“Security agencies should arrest the person and charge him or her for incitement.”
Also, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, said Nigerians must come out and condemn the song.
The state President of the organisation, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, said, “ We ask the Northern elders to caution these hate mongers.
“Now that everybody is putting heads together to enthrone lasting peace in the country, such hate comments are condemnable and unacceptable.”
Police search for sponsors
The police say they are on the trail of the song composers.
The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, who described the song as a hate speech, said, “We will not tolerate any incitement in the country. We have already started investigations; our men will soon arrest the people behind the song,” he said.