HATE SPEECH, IMO STATE, 2019 AND THEREAFTER
I welcome you gentlemen of the Press and the guardian of our speech and actions to his press briefing.
I have been moved to address and brief you on the thorny issue which is slowly and gradually destroying the very fabrics that binds our humanity and brotherhood, particularly in the charged and power game of politics.
Permit me to therefore commence this briefing by quoting a favorite and guiding statement by one of the great philosophers which our late father and politician Late Sab. Obinna Anyanwu read out to me every Sunday morning in 1983 when I was the youth leader of Imo Youth Organization. I quote:
“A few words spoken in anger can quickly destroy a long lasting relationship. For no matter how sorry you are thereafter, the memory of your barbed remarks may leave a lasting scar”.
I remember with nostalgia in 1979 when politics was played like football. The spirit of sportsmanship made the loser a friend who would crack a joke over the loss. He was a friendly loser and a brother and never a foe.
I digested my resolve to play politics without bitterness after the great politician of that era, Alhaji Balarabe Musa visited my father and repeated to me “young man, I hope you are playing politics without bitterness” and I replied “yes sir”.
Party as a platform was very supreme and has a constitution perhaps respected more than the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria by the players. The party Chairman of all political parties spoke ex-catheral and obedience to party directives and constitution indeed not taken for granted by Party Executives at all levels; that is why it was unheard of that a member took his or her party to court challenging the decision(s) of the party.
However, today’s party politics have presented us with an opposite of events and politics of those glorious good days. As much as we did not have a perfect period then, our period has developed a hydra-headed and mixture of desperation, cash based and hate speeches with its attendant attrition and animosity leading to murder and murder of political opponents. It has brought family members to destroy family bond and unity. It has pitched church members against each other. It has brought an end long standing childhood friendship to an abrupt end. It has even divided the closely knitted Communities, Towns, Local Governments, Zones in a State into permanent suspicious neighbours and brothers within a State.
Since words and speeches travel faster than body languages, actions are now made faster by the social media that has made the world a global village. A hate speech can by a push of button be placed in the hands, eye, and ear within a second.
Unfortunately, these presentations and descriptions of one’s character, handwork, goodwill in a pulse and deliberate political propaganda in order to gain advantage of the opponent, either by the principle of his/her agents and followers is not retractable until the death of the victim.
It is in consideration of this and many other reasons that I have decided to promote good brotherhood, neighborhood, and comradeship in the quest to seek support by all the aspirants in Imo state but more particularly the Governorship aspirants of all political parties in Imo state. The benefit of strict and genuine adherence and practice of the new political environment will be ever green and a good foundation to generation of Imolites yet unborn.
It will also place Imo state as a pace-setter among the comity of states of the Federation as a once most peaceful and cleanest state in Nigeria. Yes we can, if we can, and believe you me, WE CAN!
Going forward therefore, I Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyawu today the 14th of April 2018 do hereby states as follows:
i. That there will not be found any hate speech from me during and throughout the electoral process of 2018/2019 and thereafter.
ii. That I will direct all my followers, advisers, financiers and religious prayer warriors not to use my name, position and ambition for the use of hate speech(es) on my fellow aspirants, or their supporters for the purpose of giving me any advantage whatsoever.
iii. I will disown and hereby disown any of my supporter(s) in whichever guide that uses hate speech(es) against any of my fellow aspirants or their supporters from today. Any of my supporter who uses hate speech in violation of this admonition will be publicly disowned by my campaign organization, the Divine Mandate Movement from his ward level.
Gentlemen of the Press, after election there is life. Life does not begin and end in a contest. Since the beginning of Democracy in 1999, different parties have emerged with people leaving from one party to the other because of individual interest and hanging ideology and have been working together since then.
I will in practical implementation of this new political environment commence visitation of all our fellow contestant for the Governorship position and other positions across all the political parties operating in Imo State as time will permit me.
Imo is the issue and our campaign for Imo should be issue based.
I thank you all for coming, for it shall end in Praise.
Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu
Imo East, NASS