Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, concluded his consultative sessions in relation to recent ethnic agitations today with a meeting with State Governors.
Over the course of one week, the Acting President has met with traditional rulers from the North and the South East in a series of consultations on the issue of ethnic agitations, between the pro-Biafra groups and the Northern youth. He completed his consultations today with a meeting that had in attendance all 36 governors and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Security Chiefs and other senior government officials.
Here are 4 of the most important things we picked up from his remarks:
1. Our constitution guarantees freedom of expression. But we have to draw a line where conversations degenerate into hateful rhetoric.
That we can all express ourselves without feeling the need to spew hateful words about others. The letter written by the Northern youth demanding the eviction of South easterners from the north was not only disrespectful, it actually bordered on hate speech that incites violence.
2. The Constitution guarantees the equality of all Nigerians before the law, and their freedom to live and work anywhere in the country.
We already said this: the worst part about asking some people to vacate a part of Nigeria is not that it’s rude. It’s that it reflects the deep-seated ignorance of the persons demanding.
3. “Very importantly, we all agree(d) on the need to speak out, as leaders, more forcefully to counter divisive speech and warmongering.”
So we can actually expect that those arrests promised by Governor El-Rufai will happen soon.
4. Nigeria’s unity should never be taken for granted.