The Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has cautioned the Federal Government over its categorisation of hate speeches to act of terrorism, saying: “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 said the All Progressives Congress is the number one promoter and beneficiary of hate speeches in the country.
He said: “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.”
In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Friday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose, who said he was totally against hate speech and will support any effort to curb it, added that it was important to caution the Federal Government on the danger inherent in the blanket categorisation of hate speech as treasonable.
He said: “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 counselled that rather the blanket criminalisation 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.
The statement reads: “I wish to express concern over the pronouncement of the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo that hate speech will henceforth be treated as terrorism.
“While I am totally against hate speech and will support any effort to curb it, it is important to caution the federal government on the danger inherent in the blanket categorisation of hate speech as treasonable.
“I make bold to say that saying the truth concerning the country and its rulers cannot be termed as hate speech.
“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.
“It should therefore not be seen that since the use of corruption to harass, arrest and detain opposition figures is no longer fashionable, hate speech will now be another instrument of oppression to be used against opposition.
“The questions that must be answered by the federal government are; what constitutes hate speech and who determines it? Has the Presidency becomes law unto itself such that it is now the one to determine what is an offense and what punishment to be applied?
“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.
“When the APC was looking for power, several provocative statements were made.
Nigerians are yet to forget President 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.
“What can be more treasonable than these statements made by President Buhari and his party?
“It is also on record that during the 2011 election campaign, President Buhari’s inciting statement led to widespread violence by his supporters in the North after he lost. Over 1000 people were slaughtered in cold blood, including innocent National Youth Service Corp members.
“Therefore, 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.
“Also, rather than this 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 while the confidence of the people in the government (at all levels) must be restored.”
BREAKING: Senate Approves N30,000 Minimum Wage
The Senate on Tuesday approved N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
This decision was reached after the upper chamber’s ad-hoc committee on new minimum wage headed by Senator Francis Alimikhena submitted its report.
The Senate then went on to request the Federal Government to submit a supplementary budget to cover the new wage structure for consideration and approval.
Delta Government Suspends Head Teacher Over Success ‘No Be Say I No Go Pay’ N1,000 Viral Video
The Delta State Government has suspended the Head Teacher of Okotie-Eboh Primary School in Sapele Local Government Area, Vero Igbigwe, for allegedly collecting unauthorised fees, including examination levies, from pupils.
The suspension notice was handed down on Monday by the Delta State Commissioner for Education, Chinedu Ebie, who visited the school following a viral video that showed a schoolgirl, Success Adebor, protesting the decision to send her home over her parents’ inability to pay her second term examination fee, which she put at N1,000.
Ebie said: “There is right to fair hearing.
“So, what will happen is that a detailed investigation would be set up to look into the issue in details.
“Like I did say, I conducted a preliminary investigation, but in the interim we have to suspend her (Igbigwe) as the head teacher of this school pending the outcome of the investigation.
“That suspension will take effect as from today (Monday).
“Obviously, there are contradictions in her story because everybody was there when they talked about school fees.
“It was obvious that Success was sent home because of her inability or her parents to pay the supposed fees, which is not in any way part of the 2018/2019 levies.
“Education at the basic level is free.
“However, it is not unusual that levies are imposed.
“Even at the unity schools, we have levies but these levies must be for specific purposes and must also be very minimal for the children or their guardians can afford.”
Ebie said the Administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa would not tolerate any form of extortion by state officials.
Why We Visited President Buhari In Aso Rock — Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at his office in Aso Rock on Monday in the company of his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, to congratulate the nation’s number one citizen for winning his second term election in the just concluded presidential election.
The elated President Buhari who received Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat also felicitated with the duo for their victory in the gubernatorial election.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, Sanwo-Olu said: “It is important for the deputy Governor-elect and myself to have a one-on-one short discussion with the Commander-in-Chief, and it’s a rare privilege. It was a short one, just to say congratulations to him on his own election and he also said the same thing to us. So it’s a very short courtesy visit to Mr. President.”
The incoming Governor, who gave an insight into what his government will do, said Lagosians should expect a lot of solutions to many of the challenges they face in areas of transportation, housing, waste management, health and education adding that his deputy and himself have the competences and capabilities that will bring good governance as soon as they are sworn in.
His words: “We are actually very excited. We are excited because we’ve seen all the challenges ahead of us and we know that given all the plans and strategies we are putting in place for execution, we will certainly be bringing about solutions that will solve various challenges in Lagos very quickly.
“We know that with a mega city of our status, it comes with a lot of challenges but we are lucky that we have been part of it before now and we are excited that the solutions we are bringing up – many of which we told our people on the campaign trail, we are sure we will very quickly, be able to bring about positive development that will improve the quality of lives and ease all of the challenges that we currently have in Lagos.”
On the recent building collapse in the state which he described as unfortunate, the Governor-Elect said the current government in the state is doing all that is possible to ensure building codes are strictly adhered to and that his administration will strengthen the existing codes and also apply the rules without pandering to sentiments.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. I used to be the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Building Collapse. That was about ten years ago which was what led to us create an agency called Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA). It was meant to identify structures well ahead before issues like this begin to happen. But it’s an unfortunate thing, extremely very unfortunate and it also means that we expect it would happen again if nothing drastic is done to check it. Our administration will strengthen the agency and apply the law without sentiments.
“Lagos truly really needs regeneration especially Lagos Island and that was part of the things we promised on the campaign trail. So, it’s to have a conversation with all of the families on the Island and we’ll see the kind of redevelopment that is important as it is being done by a lot of other big cities like Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Speaking on the issue of urban renewal, Sanwo-Olu said proper enumeration of properties is the ultimate solution to achieve success. He said once properties are properly enumerated and the owners see the government’s sincerity of purpose, they will key into it and regeneration can take place.
“Well, it’s really not that regeneration has been a challenge, but because we have not been able to see it through to the end. When you want to take people’s properties and you want to regenerate, they must first see the sincerity of purpose – what are the additional plans that you have for them? Before you could regenerate, there must be a stop gap – in the next two to three years what are the plans you have for them? And you need to do what we call proper enumeration. Once you can enumerate properly and determine who the original owners are, and you sit and have an agreement, then the regeneration will start.
“But like I have said, the major thing is sincerity of purpose knowing full well that you are not out to circumvent them or to shortchange them. Once that is put on the table very clearly and transparently, I believe that as it’s also done in other jurisdictions, we will make success of it,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
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