Osinbajo tells northern leaders that hate speech and divisive action will not be tolerated

ACTING president Professor Yemi Osinbajo has told northern leaders of thought that the federal government will clamp down hard on hate speech and divisive action capable of tearing the nation apart of capable of fomenting trouble.


Speaking earlier today during a meeting with prominent northern leaders at the presidential villa in Abuja, Professor Osinbajo was reacting to the recent heating up of the polity after the Arewa Youth Coalition told all Igbos living in northern Nigeria to leave by October 1. In a highly explosive ultimatum, the youth groups also told all northerners living in southeast Nigeria to return home by the deadline, saying Nigeria will be dissolved.


Their irresponsible threat has attracted widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum, with the Kaduna State governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai ordering the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetuators. Today, Professor Osinbajo invited several prominent leaders to his office to discuss the matter further where he warned them that the government would invoke its full powers to crush any persons or groups that causes violence in Nigeria.

Professor Osinbajo said: “People are bound to complain of marginalisation but we must be careful the way we go about it. This is not the time to retreat but it is a time to come together and work together.


"Hate or decisive speeches will be met with decisive action. No one will be made to get away with hate speeches that will led to violence."


Northern leaders present at the meeting included Arewa Consultative Forum chairman Ibrahim Coomasssie, Yakubu Pam the chairman of the northern chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Gen Martin Luther Agwai, Bashir Ibrahim, Kabiru Chafe, Ibrahim Wushishi, Aliyiu Wamako, Ango Abdullahi, Fatimah Abubakar and Mohammed Hyatudeen.


Spelling the law out for them, Professor Osinbajo said the government will take very seriously any hate or decisive speeches designed to cause violence and disrupt the peace of this country. He added that this is because when violence starts you cannot control it and wars these days do not end

“Living in a diverse country like ours, we are sure to face challenges considering our diverse nature. Over the past few weeks there have been loud noises of hate and decisive speeches more than the past.


"There was the loud agitation about secession by some groups in the southeast and those affiliated to them and there was a call by a group of young people from the north giving an ultimatum for those from the east to leave by October. There are those who may say they should be ignored but I believe we need to address these issues,” Professor Osinbajo added.


During the meeting the acting president who expressed gratitude at the presence of the northern leaders disclosed that the consultative meetings would continue with other regional leaders and he will also meet with religious leaders from both the south and north as part of a process that will end on Sunday. Present at the meeting were senate president Bukola Saraki, speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, defence minister Mansur Dan-Ali, interior minister Adulrahman Dambazau, the national security adviser and the inspector general of police.