“The tongue, like the pen, is often mightier than the sword – because it is what pushes the sword into action. When we throw words like stones in a marketplace we do not know who or what it will hit.
“Knowing this, under no conditions whatsoever should we tolerate or excuse or justify hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind, especially where such is illegal.”
With the above words, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo reiterated his resolve to quash any person or organisation that foments trouble in Nigeria.
The Acting President made the remarks at the meeting with leaders of thought from the southeastern states held at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja on Wednesday June 14, 2017.
Elombah.com had, earlier in the day, reported that Osinbajo has warned those persons promoting hate speeches or making pronouncements that can cause violence or disruption of lives and property in the country, to desist from such divisive behaviour or face the full wrath of the law.
The Acting President gave the warning in Abuja at the beginning of a series of consultative meetings he is holding this week with Leaders of Thought from the North and South-East parts of the country.
Speaking at the meeting with South-East Leaders, he said further:
“Let me of course acknowledge that as part of living together in this space called Nigeria, misunderstandings and frustrations are inevitable.
“Because resources are limited there will always be a striving to get what is perceived as the best seat at the table.
“All of that is normal and to be expected, especially in a democracy, like ours. A healthy democracy ought to be a theatre of energetic striving by all parties and stakeholders.”
He, however, stated that “things should never descend to a level where mutual suspicions override the desire to live together in peace and harmony.”
He then reminded his earlier stance “that hate or divisive speech, or divisive behaviour, where it is illegal, will be met with the full force of the law.”
In conclusion he warned “of the resolve of government to ensure that no one will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause division or violence.
“We will take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or to disrupt the peace of Nigeria. And we will not tolerate such.
“We are also resolute in our determination to protect every Nigerian, everywhere in the country.
“We will do everything within our power to defend and uphold the terms of our constitution, which declares that we are one nation under God,” he assured.
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