The Nigerian government has declared hate speech as an act of terrorism and warned that it will, henceforth, treat those who indulge in the practice as terrorists.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo stated this yesterday at the National Economic Council security retreat held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said “intimidation of a population by words or speech is an act of terrorism and will no longer be tolerated by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
“As I have said, we have drawn a line against hate speech, it will not be tolerated, it will be taken as an act of terrorism and all of the consequences will follow.”
Osinbajo urged Nigerian businessmen, political and religious leaders to condemn “in the strongest possible terms, hate speeches that promote violence against an individual or a group, especially when such speech come from people of your own faith, tribe or group.
“When leaders speak in such a manner to create dissension or intimidate the population are quiet, they do a great disservice to our unity as a nation. Your silence in such situation can only be seen as an endorsement.
“This is why I urge all political leaders, religious leaders, business leaders and all of those who truly want a united country, where there will be peace and security to ensure that we do not tolerate, by our silence, the hate speech that we hear every day in community.”
Although the acting president did not mention any name or groups in his speech, some of those who have been accused of hate speech include Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the secessionist pro-Biafra group, IPOB, and some northern youths who, in various audio speeches, have spread hate against Igbo.
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