Hate Speech To Be Treated As Terrorism – Osinbajo




Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday laid down the marker for proponents of hate speeches in the country when he declared categorically that henceforth, those found culpable by their utterances will be treated as terrorists.
Osinbajo spoke in Abuja during the National Economic Council (NEC) Retreat on National Security, which had in attendance state governors, ministers and other stakeholders at the Banquet Hall of the presidential villa.
According to him, such hate speeches will be categorised under the law as acts of terrorism.
He noted that the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 (as amended) defines terrorism as an act deliberately done with malice which may seriously harm or damage a country or seriously intimidate a population.
Eyes Of Lagos source revealed that, He explained that intimidation of a population by words and by speech is an act of terrorism, which he said the administration intends to take seriously.
His words: “The federal government has today drawn the line on hate speech. Hate speech is a specie of terrorism. Terrorism as it is defined popularly is the unlawful use of violence or intimidation against individuals or groups especially for political ends.
“As I have said, we’ve 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 it”.
Osinbajo called on all business, religious and political leaders, irrespective of their political or religious leaning, tribe or faith to condemn in the strongest possible terms at all times, hate speech.
The acting president said that silence, on their part, could be seen as an endorsement, especially when such comes from people of  their own faith, tribe or group.
He continued: “Hate speech and the promotion of the same throughout history from Nazi Germany and the extermination of Jews to the Rwandan genocide succeeded in achieving their barbarous ends by the silence of influential, voices from the aggressor communities.
“When leaders in communities that speak in such a manner as to create dissension or to intimidate a population are quiet, they do a great disservice to our unity and nation.
“This is why I urge all of our political leaders, religious leaders, business leaders and all of those who truly want a united country and a 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 our community”.
On his part, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen stressed the need to tackle the menace of insecurity, corruption and impunity, saying they are three sides of the same coin which ought to be “taken together holistically” if the country must move forward.
He said, “I want us to think about that and to carry this through. We need the support of Nigerians, particularly the Nigerian on the street who feels deprived one way or the other, rightly or wrongly. It could be imaginary but it is that he ought to be attended where he is pointing out. Where his problems are coming from may not necessarily be the source of his problem.
“But it is necessary for us to look in that direction in case he is right. If we have security, justice, then many of these agitations will equally die down”.
Also speaking, governor of Zamfara State, and chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdullaziz Yari, said there was need for government to pay attention to agriculture as a panacea to the ravaging insecurity in the country caused by the teeming youth on the streets.
The governor stated that government needs to specifically deploy resources to encourage the employment of youths on the streets so that they can have something good to engage in.
His words: “We have not been paying attention to agriculture. My reason: in the last 10 years, only N400 billion was invested from either Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the capital markets.
“But in 2010 AMCON came to rescue banks with bad debts and over N4trillion was injected into AMCON and no much impact was made on agriculture”.

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