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19 Aug 2017

Hate speech: Northern coalition supports Yemi Osinbajo

A coalition of Northern groups has supported Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s decision that promoters of hate speech be treated as terrorists.
The coalition in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Abdul-azeez Suleiman and made available to media in Kaduna on Saturday called on the National Assembly to promulgate laws that would punish all forms of hate speeches in the interest of peace and unity of the country.

The statement read, “We find the all-encompassing address by the Acting President to the National Executive Council highly commendable and statesmanlike and hereby concur with and support the position of the NCS in its totality.

“Specifically, we support and concur with the Acting President’s firm position that henceforth all forms of hate speeches be termed as acts of terror and be dealt with accordingly.

“Importantly too, we support the strong statement of the Acting President that the silence of some community leaders in the face of incitive provocations by their kith is responsible for the escalation of the current threats to national security and integration.”

The statement added, “It should be recalled that in subsequent correspondences particularly with the Acting President and the International community since the ‘Kaduna Declaration’, our Coalition has maintained that the conspiratorial silence of all the Igbo, especially all their political, cultural and religious leaders was responsible for emboldening the unpatriotic and violence-prone actions of the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra, IPOB, and its leader Nnamdi Kanu.

“It is indeed the concern of the inherent consequences of that implied endorsement of IPOB’s incessant threats of war and genocide by the Igbo leaders and elders that partly informed our pre-emptive decision to include the relocation of the Igbo clause in the ‘Kaduna Declaration’.

“We are happy therefore, that the Nigerian authorities have finally come to the same conclusion and call on all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to support and encourage the government in its renewed resolve to deal with warmongering, hate speeches and incitement to violence in all their manifestations everywhere in the country.

“We also call on the National Assembly to initiate the promulgation of a law to criminalize all forms of hate speeches as well as violent agitations and provide appropriate punishment thereto.”

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