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Nigeria draws the line on hate speech, classifies it as terrorism

Nigeria draws the line on hate speech, classifies it as terrorism


The Nigerian government has announced that hate speech under the country’s amended anti-terrorism law is an act of terrorism and will not be tolerated.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo clearly stated on Thursday at a security forum in the capital Abuja that the government is taking intimidation of people by words and speech very seriously.

“Hate speech is a specie of terrorism … We’ve drawn a line against hate speech, it will not be tolerated, it will be taken as an act of terrorism and all of the consequences will follow it,” he said.

“Speech that promotes violence against an individual or group, especially when such comes from people of your own faith, tribe or group, your silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement,” he warned leaders.

He also cautioned community leaders against speaking in a manner that creates dissension or to intimidate a population because “they do a great disservice to our unity and nation.”

Nigeria’s amended Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 defines terrorism as inter Alia, an act which deliberately done with malice which may seriously harm or damage a country or seriously intimidate a population.

The West African country has recently faced a series of inter-ethnic conflicts which have further divided the country in tribal lines.

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