The Federal government of Nigeria has announced that hate speech is an act of terrorism and warned that it will, henceforth, prosecute those who indulge in the practice.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, declared that henceforth, offenders of dangerous comments would be treated in accordance with the 2011 Terrorism Act.
The minister who spoke on Monday, February 19, 2018, at the second National Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Kano state reminded that government directive from National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to sanction any broadcast station who allows its airwave to be used as medium for promotion of hate speeches, is still in place.
According to Mohammed, the Federal Government has continued to promote ethical standard and the core responsibility of the Journalism profession, but an attempt to circumvent its rightful position in the society could be inimical to the national cohesion.He said the media as moulder of public view has huge responsibility of preserving national unity, public values, and peaceful co-existence.
“As gatekeeper, the media is expected in high hope to build responsible and lead vibrant societal development devoid of dangerous and hate speeches. The Federal Government will continue to promote and uphold ethical standard.”
Besides, Mohammad Sani Soro, a member representing Gumel, Gagarawa Megatiri federal constituency at the House of Representatives, advocated legislative intervention on social media to check the devastating act of hate speeches on the platform.
Represented by Grace Ita-Gekpe, the permanent secretary in the ministry, the minister posited that as postulated by provisions of the constitution, freedom of expression and speeches privilege should not be abused. Declaring the conference open, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said national discuss on hate speeches cannot be considered more appropriate given the multiple challenges bedeviling the country’s unity and values. Ganduje applauded the union’s foresight and the choice of Kano to hold the national conference.
Meanwhile, Kano State Government has said that the viral video of underage voters was shot during the 2015 election and belongs to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.The Commissioner for information, Mallam Mohammad Garba said, “the viral video contained scenes where INEC card readers was deployed, and nothing of such was used in the last council poll in Kano.”
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