By STELLA UKWUOMA
Nigerian former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has unflinchingly condemned the conception, production and circulation of a hate song against the Igbos spreading in some Northern parts of the country.
Expressing displeasure on Monday via a statement personally signed by him, the ex-Vice President called on Nigerians and people of goodwill to discountenance the said song and work towards the unity and peaceful co-existence of all.
Abubakar, who also commiserated with Ozubulu people over the Sunday Mass shooting, urged security agencies to swiftly arrest those behind the song and deal with them decisively x-raying its similarity to the remote cause of the Rwanda genocide.
“It has come to my attention that a song disparaging people of Igbo origin, and which wishes them dead, is circulating in some parts of the nation. I totally and unequivocally condemn this development, and I call on all men of goodwill to rise up against this evil.
“This song is reminiscent of the beginnings of the Rwanda Genocide. Nigerians need to be aware that the Rwanda Genocide was believed to have been ignited by a song titled Nanga Abahutu (I hate Hutus), sung by Rwanda’s then most popular musician, Simon Bikindi. God forbid that we should have such a déjà vu in Nigeria.
“I call on the security agencies to thoroughly and decisively swing into action and apprehend, try, convict and severely punish those behind this ungodly song which incites racial hatred. Simon Bikindi was convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for igniting and aiding the Rwandan genocide.
“Thus, let those who think they can treat their fellow citizens so unjustly know that within and outside Nigeria exist mechanisms that will ensure they answer to their crimes.
“I call on all men of goodwill to remember those immortal lines from our former National Anthem “though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand”.
“The effects of hate in any shape or form were made even more evident over the weekend, in a mass shooting incident that left many of us reeling with shock.
“I commiserate with the people of Ozubulu in Anambra State, who lost family members in the fatal shooting that also left almost a score injured.
“I pray that peace will return to their minds and their community soon, even as the police work hard to get to the bottom of the matter. May God comfort them as no man can” the statement read.