Chidi Samuel|President Muhammadu on Tuesday warned those bent on promoting hate speech in Nigeria to borrow a new leaf or face the full weight of the law.
The President who gave the warning in his Independence Day speech to the nation, noted that even though his administration recognises the freedom of expression of the citizens, it would, however, not turn a blind eye on those bent on abusing such rights, especially through social media.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations as the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome.
Buhari said, “Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media.
“Whilst we uphold the constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.”
“The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction.
“I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.”
The President also highlighted the achievements of his administration in restoring peace in the country and noted that this could not have been possible without the gallant efforts of men and women in arms.
He expressed gratitude to Nigeria’s neighbours and allies within the region and across the world for their support in the war against insurgency.