Hate speech is now an act of terrorism - Nigerian government

Activities on social media are not excluded from the coverage of the law.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave this indication during his speech at the 2nd National Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Kano on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

He also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to sanction any media station found allowing its airwave to be used for such activities.

Lai mohammed said the media must understand that they are responsibility for moulding public opinions and preserving national unity.

“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 the ethical standard.”

Nigerian government stands on hate speech has not changed

The position of Nigerian government as regards hate speech is that it is an act of terrorism. This position was first mooted by the country’s vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on August 16, 2017, during a security summit in Abuja.

He said the country’s Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended defines terrorism as an act deliberately done with malice which may seriously harm a country and hate speech falls within this categorisation.

“Silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement,” he said.

“Hate speech and the promotion of the same through history from Nazi Germany and the extermination of Jews to the Rwandan genocide succeeded in achieving their barbarous ends by the silence of influential voices.

“The silence of leaders at this time -in our country will be a grave disservice to our country, its peace and its future.”

The scope of this law proclamation by the government also covers posts on all social media platforms.

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