Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that government will no longer allow subversive speeches from anyone.
He warned that the full force of the law will be brought against anyone who uses hate speeches.
Osinbajo was speaking at a meeting between him and leaders of thought from Northern Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“I want to say that hate or divisive speech or divisive behaviour will be met with the full force of the law. There is no doubt at all of the resolve of government to ensure that no one can get away with making speeches that can cause division or that can cause violence,” Professor Osinbajo said.
He emphasised that the government would take very seriously any attempt to cause violence or any attempt to disrupt peace in Nigeria.
The Acting President said he expected that the leaders would be ‘frank and constructive’ at the meeting, which he hoped would bring the kinds of fruits that would help in building a prosperous nation.
He said the meeting was necessitated by the “louder noises of hate, louder noises of division especially from the younger persons in our society” heard across Nigeria in recent times.
He said there was the loud agitation about secession from some group of young person in the South East, IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) and recently an ultimatum by a group of young persons from the north asking people from the South East to leave the north.
He said although some people may regard these hate speeches as not important and should be ignored, it was necessary for people with experience, leaders of thought and those who should give advice to give some direction to young persons who may believe that the way they are going about their personal grievances is the right way.
“I want to say that our defining strength is what our constitution calls a sovereign nation under God. There is no homogenous society in Nigeria since the north has many people living in the south while the south has many people living in the north.
“Every stone thrown in the market will hit targets that are not intended,” he stressed.
The acting President said the situation requires that all Nigerians come together to fashion out ways of resolving their issues.
Among the leaders of the north that attended the meeting were Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olanishakin, chairman of Adewale Consultative Forum and former IGP Ibrahim Comassie, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, former governor Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamako, former deputy governor of Plateau State, amongs others.