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Sultan champions criminalisation of hate speech, fake news

Sultan champions criminalisation of hate speech, fake news
August 25
10:54 2017

Sa’ad Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, says the traditional institution is in support of the recent move by the federal government to criminalise hate speech and fake news.

The sultan said this on Thursday while speaking at the 25th anniversary of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Abuja.

According to the monarch, hate speech should be declared an act of terrorism.

Abubakar said hate speech phenomenon and fake news have reached an alarming rate and decisive action should be taken by the government.

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He said he was recently a victim of fake news when he was reported to have “kicked against restructuring” at a Nigerian Labour Congress event.

Clarifying his position, the monarch said he was only against any restructuring that would lead to the disintegration of Nigeria.

“Shortly after the event, many people were calling me that what was I doing at the event where there was ‘fracas’’, he said.

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“There was nothing like fracas at that event as reported by a popular TV station which I will not name here.

“A former comrade governor who was at the event canvassed a position which did not go down well with the audience and people were shouting.

“The president of NLC waded into the situation and the comrade governor continued with his speech.

“At the end of the speech the former governor was given a loud ovation. So, how can that be described as fracas.”

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NAN further reports that the monarch said the freedom of speech as enshrined in the constitution should not be used to violate other people’s rights.

He also decried the “politicisation” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health which he said generated hate speech.

Abubakar called on political and religious leaders at all levels to guard their utterances and condemn hate speeches.

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