Linguistic Freedom and Hate Speech: A Critical Review of Nigerian Politicians’ Speeches and Their Implications

Dare Williams Omotoyinbo


This paper deals with the linguistic freedom of the people of Nigeria as entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the misuse of that freedom through hate-speech by Nigerian politicians against their opponents in the public for and even in the National Dailies. This paper condemns such actions in its entirety exposing the dangers involved and the implications both at present and in future. The paper goes further to give a better alternative to hate-speech, which is persuasion; this is believed to be more convincing than the former. The theories of persuasion were explained and elaborated. These theories are social judgment theory and the Relationship based persuasion theory. It concludes by saying that whatever the situation, it is when Nigerians see themselves as one, respect one another and work together, that Nigeria can stand tall in the comity of nations of the world. Based on the havoc and the hatred that hate-speech causes, the paper recommends that government should do everything possible eradicating this societal cankerworm or reducing it to the barest minimum, by taking drastic actions against perpetrators, because,  to build Nigeria and make it one continually, is a task that must be done by all.

Keywords: Linguistic freedom, hate-speech, politicians, persuasion, societal cankerworm.

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/80-01

Publication date:May 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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