Tue, Oct 03, 2023

When APC was looking for power, many provocative statements were made - Fayose

When APC was looking for power, many provocative statements were made - Fayose

Ekiti Governor,  Ayo Fayose, has cautioned the federal government over its categorisation of hate speeches as act of terrorism.

“This appears as another plot to silence the opposition and i make bold to say that saying the truth concerning the country and its rulers cannot be termed as hate speech.”

Fayose accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the number one promoter and beneficiary of hate speeches in the country.

“When the APC was looking for power, several provocative statements were made.  Nigerians are yet to forget President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ hate speeches and the threat by the APC to form a parallel government.”

Fayose in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Friday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose, said he was totally against hate speech and will support any effort to curb it, but insisted that it was important to caution the federal government on the danger inherent in the blanket categorisation of hate speech as treasonable.

“Even if the APC government is sincere with its new found hatred for hate speeches, the APC government must first apologise to Nigerians for being the number one promoter and beneficiary of hate speech.”

The governor counseled that rather than blanket criminalising of hate speeches, the federal government should embark on reorientation of Nigerians, especially the youths on the consequences of hate speeches to the unity of the country and restore the confidence of the people in the government.

“I only hope Nigeria is not being systematically returned to the colonial days when the law of sedition was used to jail many of those who fought for our independence or the era of Buhari’s military regime when the notorious Public Officers (Protection against False accusation) Decree 4 of 1984 was used to jail Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, both of The Guardian newspapers for publishing what the government termed as false.

“Most importantly, going by the APC government’s use of the so-called anti-corruption fight to harass, intimidate, arrest and detain opposition figures, there is no doubt that categorising whatever that is termed as hate speech as act of terrorism is unconstitutional and an attempt to gag Nigerians, especially the press.

“From all intent and purposes, the Acting President pronouncement which is obviously not backed by any legislation is an attempt to provide reasons for an impending clampdown on opposition and Nigerians will resist any attempt to mortgage their fundamental rights to freedom of expression under the guise of hate speeches.”



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