The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, read the Riot Act to all those trying to incite war across the country, saying the full force of the law would be applied where necessary.
He said this while addressing leaders from the Northern part of the country at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in the wake of the recent quit notice youths from the Northern groups.
He said hate speeches and other divisive behaviours would be met with the full force of the law.
He said the government would take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or disrupt the peace of the country.
The Acting President said,
“As a government, we are determined to ensure the unity of the country along the lines of our Constitution and I want to say that hate and divisive speech or divisive behaviour where it is illegal will be met with the full force of the law.
“I want to ensure that there is no doubt at all that it is the resolve of the government that none will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause sedition or that can cause violence.
“This is especially because when we make these kinds of pronouncement and do things that can cause violence or destruction of lives and property, we are no longer in control. Those who make those speeches are no longer in control.
“So I want to emphasize that government will take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or disrupt the peace of this country. And that is very important because you cannot control violence once it begins.”
Osinbajo likened violence or hate speech to a stone that is thrown in the marketplace which will hit targets that will be deadly.
“These days, wars do not end and I am sure that those who have seen or experienced war in any shape or form will not wish it on their worst enemies.
“This is not a time to retreat behind ethnic lines, moments like this are not for isolating ourselves.
“I want to urge all of us here and the entire Nigerian populace to come together and work together,” he appealed.
Osinbajo is expected to meet with leaders from the South East separately before he will eventually meet with both groups together.