Osinbajo vows ‘full force of law’ against hate speech

Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Acting President on Tuesday read the riot act to those promoting hate speech and disunity in the Country.

The Acting President made the comment while meeting with a select group of northern leaders at Aso Rock.

The meeting with Northern leaders became imperative following the call by Arewa youth group for all Igbo people to leave the region within three months and the subsequent reactions that have trailed the call from across the country.

Prof. Osinbajo said the government was determined to ensure the unity of Nigeria “along the lines of our constitution”.

“And I want to say that hate and divisive speech or divisive behavior where it is illegal will be met with the full force of the law,” he said.

“I want to ensure that there is no doubt at all that it is the resolve of the government that none will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause sedition or that can cause violence especially because when we make these kinds of pronouncement and do things that can cause violence or destruction of lives and property we are no longer in control.

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“Those who make those speeches are no longer in control.

“So I want to emphasise that government will take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or disrupt the peace of this country and that is very important because you cannot control violence once it begins,” he said.

He called on the northern leaders to take his message down to the people.

He said Nigerians will continue to live together, adding, “as part of living together I know that misunderstandings and frustrations will always arise and people will always want to get the best part of the deal but we must be careful to recognize that we can only begin to talk about any part of anything if we are together in peace.

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“These days, wars do not end and I am sure that those who have seen or experienced war in any shape or form will not wish it on their worst enemies.”

“This is not a time to retreat behind ethnic lines, moments like this are not for isolating ourselves, I want to urge all of us here and the entire Nigerian populace to come together and work together,” Mr. Osinbajo said.