Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the federal government will not allow hate speech become free speech.
Mohammed was speaking on the plan of the government to regulate social media.
On Tuesday, the minister said many Nigerians have asked the government to sanitise the social media space.
Speaking at the annual lecture of FRCN in Abuja on Thursday, he said only “anarchists and non-patriots” would worry about the move by the government.
He said the government does not have the intention to gag the media.
“Since announcing our plan to sanitize both the broadcast industry and the social media, there have been varying reactions from Nigerians. I must say this is welcome,” the minister said.
“It’s exactly what we want – national discourse on the responsible use of the airwaves and the social media. But, for the umpteenth time, I want to say that responsible and ethical journalists, and indeed all patriots, have nothing to fear. Only anarchists and non-patriots, the purveyors of fake news and hate speech, need to worry.
“This administration has no intention to gag the media or stifle free speech, but it also won’t sit by and allow hate speech to become free speech.”
The minister said no government would allow hate speech and fake news dominate its media space.
“So, while we welcome the support of most Nigerians who have reached out to us on the need to clean up the air waves and the social media, we also note the criticism of those who oppose our efforts,” he said.
“Make no mistake, however, we are committed to ensuring a responsible and ethical use of our air waves and the social media.”