Nigeria’s government says it’s pushing ahead with a long-delayed law that will criminalise hate speech.
The announcement followed the appearance of songs on social media calling on one of Nigeria’s main ethnic groups to leave the north of the country.
The latest example is a song calling Igbos – one of Nigeria’s main ethnic groups – a curse on the nation and blaming them for the country’s problems.
Africa’s most populous country is home to hundreds of different ethnic groups.
Anti-Igbo sentiment in Nigeria is seen by some as a response to growing Igbo calls for their own independent state in the south-east of the country.
But the fear is that the inflammatory language, if left unchecked, could trigger ethnic clashes.
It’s not clear whether the hate speech law, already delayed for years, will actually pass and even if it does, whether it will be enforced.
A large part of the problem is that Nigeria’s politicians often play up ethnic differences to shore up their own support.