Kaduna University suspends lecturer over Facebook ‘hate speech’

John Danfulani
John Danfulani

The Kaduna State University has suspended one of its senior lecturers for posting a Facebook comment deemed as hate speech.

In December, John Danfulani stirred controversy by lashing at supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, northern leaders, and President Muhammadu Buhari. He also mocked the large number of out-of-school children in the north.

Part of his Facebook post post said, “To them, APC is a religious party. Northern leaders under the party are demigods and crusaders of their ways of life. These people living in dusty villages of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa are quick in calling you ‘Arne or Kafiri’ (Meaning Pagan) once you express your view on anything their God PMB and his brigade of small Angels are doing. Attack the attacker, and lets the skies fall”.

Mr. Danfulani confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that he authored the post, which was widely circulated among Kaduna residents.

He subsequently deleted his Facebook page. Mr. Danfulani is believed to be currently out of the country.

After criticisms poured in, the university queried Mr. Danfulani, calling his post “divisive, injurious and tantamount to hate speech”.

In a query dated January 6, signed by the school registrar, Talatu A Kuri, the university said the lecturer should explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for a comment he posted on the social media.

“The content of the publication you authored is divisive, injurious to the University and tantamount to hate speech capable of inciting particular group of students against staff and other students. This behaviour is unbecoming of a lecturer who is supposed to mould students’ character and impart learning,” the letter said.

In his response, Mr. John said he was not furnished with details of his offence.

“It is a large world of dozens of platforms, most of which are yet to be in full practice in Nigeria. I have pages that upload my opinions on multifaceted local and international issues when my conscience and spirit direct me to do so,” he wrote.

“Because of this, I do not know on which of the platforms the piece that generated this query was hoisted because your query did not contain such details.”

He added: “My wall, updates and writings in the social media are all in my private capacity and not in my official capacity as a Lecturer with the University”.

Not satisfied with his response, the school authority suspended him from the university.

The registrar of the university, Talatu A. Kuri, last week, informed Mr. Danfulani of the decision.

The letter reads: “We refer to our letter of query dated 5th January, 2016, requesting you to explain within 48 hours why disciplinary action will not be taken against you for gross misconduct and confirm that you failed to respond.

“In line with S15 (1) 4 of KASU staff Conditions of Service, the Vice Chancellor has suspended you from duty forthwith and will report the matter to Council.”

A student leader of the university who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said the post could have caused a major crisis save for the prompt response by the authorities.

On Saturday, the Kaduna State Security Council announced that it would henceforth prosecute any group of persons or individuals inciting ethno-religious crisis in the state.

Rising from its weekly security meeting, the council said the warning was necessary following reports of comments made by individuals capable of creating social unrest in the state.


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  • amazing2012

    The lecturer is daft. What is “Arne” unbeliever. To Muslims and honest Christians alike any body who did not profess their faith is “Arne”. Ask an honest Christian what is the position of muslim in Christianity, a believer or unbeliever ? He definitely say an unbeliever (arne) to Christian believe.
    The problem is why should someone be refer to as Arne.?
    Then for him to refer to certain people “from dusty” is an insult to God not the people who never asks God to made them in such areas.
    Again he said APC is an Islamic party, same way they said Jonathan is representing Jesus( an insult to Christ) later Jonathan lost and I asked especially one OTILE in his forum that is this Jesus that failed or Jonathan ? Again many regards Buhari as representing Islam, another stu..dy. The politicians are using us, unfortunately including educated people like a lecturer.
    The guy suppose to be sacked and jail !

    • BankyMons

      Really? Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘opinion’? Why are you guys falling over yourselves just because an individual aired his personal opinion on the social media? It is the University that needs to ask itself if it is what being called a University. Do you guys even understand that people from other developed countries read what you post on the internet? It is simply barbaric to suspend an academic based on these reasons – Universities all over the world are bastions of free speech and human right. The leadership of this University deserves to be relieved of their jobs for this shameful act of cowardice.

      • amazing2012

        The problem of open ion is proving it. His statements are not based on academic empirical analysis nor his opinion is under any ephistomolical foundation. One he went to face book is Facebaook university ?
        Can he depend what he says ?
        I agree with you they should have allow hm to face the anger of those who believed he is wrong on the Facebook either to deal with him in Facebook or in any way they deem fit. Since he did not make the statement in the university.

      • Kickboxer

        why respond to the nitwit

      • whales1212

        “Other developed countries” Your employer will sack you if you post any bigotry or racist stuff on social media and then report you to the police. You don’t know and yet you come on here to expose your ignorance.

        • BankyMons

          Sorry but nobody will sack you because of a harmless opinion expressed on the social media. The police will arrest and charge you to court if they think they have enough evidence to get conviction. It is not the job of the employer to prosecute crime that is not committed within the place and time of work. If they can argue that this individual used his workplace, time or equipment to post such a comment, then that’s a different kettle of fish. And in that case, they will follow an existing disciplinary procedure to deal with the matter and will not bring an adhoc punishment on the employee. Besides, can I ask you to come off the insult mood please as it does not add to the debate on here in any way? Thank you.

          • muazu wali

            Banky it is not that simple. An academic community has an image which must be observed and protected. Danfulani is membet of that community. He is expected to teach and serve as a role model. Teaching outside the area of his employment and behaving in a manner unbecoming to his status is a breach. The university cannot arrest him or send him to prison. In fact he may not have committed any crime, but his views and actions are not acceptable to the University. As his employer they can dismiss him. He may go to court and file a complaint for wrongful dismissal. The university does not have to go anywhere to query him, suspend him or even dismiss him.

          • whales1212

            I’m sorry if you’re offended but it is disturbing when you come on here to support people behaving irresponsibly, here’s a man that has breached the social contract he signed and you think he doesn’t deserve to take responsibility for it. You also went further to use developed countries, they don’t accept such behaviour and like I said before, if you post comments filled with hates,racial or ethnic in this context and they find it,you can be sacked,they don’t have to prosecute you,all they need is to report the incident to police.

        • BankyMons

          A Nigerian cannot make a racial remarks on another Nigerian as they both belong to the same race. Just thought I should let you know that. And how do you define bigotry?

          • whales1212

            Interesting, I thought when you said other developed countries, you said that from experience? In a saner clime you can,secondly, you see all this name tag we give each ethnic group, if our country is normal and functioning, these are serious things that can get one sacked.

      • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

        YOU ARE A RELIGIOUS AND TRIBAL BIGHOT. AND HIDING UNDER “FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PERSONAL VIEW AIRING.

      • amazing2012

        Did you read my text ? I said since whatever he did is not in the school they have no right to suspend him. Again even if he does that in the school they should ask him to prove before taking any action on him. When enjoying Freedom of speech one has to be careful on what to say, how to say it, when to say it, why to say and when and where to say it.
        I see no reason of suspending him. But to prove his reasons. If he failed to do so then he can be summon for legal action.

    • Otile

      The son of Ishamel, get your facts right. Your god Imam Mohamed Buhari may be fighting for Islam but nobody has ever suggested that Dr Jonathan is representing Christ. The lecturer is a wise learned gentleman, you should listen to him and learn something. Imam and his lackeys should desist for harassing the good man. It is unfortunate that in Arewa soil it is foolish_to be wise where ignorance is bliss.

      Try to get yourself more education while you are still enjoying our oil scholarship in Great Britiain.

      Long live Biafra
      Long live the Islamic Caliphate of Arewa
      Death to anti freedom fighters
      Death to opprressors
      Death to Cowards.

      • amazing2012

        Long time cursed English slave: when we’re you discharged ?
        We are listening to him but he runs away, why ? How can we listing to someone who runs away ?
        On jonalost, do you listing to his recent interview ? Please that is an answer to your question.
        Scholarship ? For who ?
        On Biafraud: did any body stop you on the road ? Please the road is free, if you really with Biafraud then pack and go the road is free !

    • Ade

      Mohammed is the son of satan!

  • whales1212

    For those of you that can’t take responsibility for what you say on social media,this is an example of how it is done in a sane world. You can’t just write stuffs or hide behind key board thinking you wouldn’t be found out. I think sacking him would have been a good example to others.

    • Omo Oye

      Wish same fate soon.

  • Sulaiman

    First thing he should have done is change his name from Danfulani. That is our name and a slap on his face if he hates us this much. My opinion is he should be warned and suspended. If he continues then let them sack him for good. We have so much hatred flying around to have some coming from the universities as well.

    • IS.JESUS.CHRIST.A.CHRISTIAN

      THE DANFULANI THAT HE BEARS MEANS NOTHING BUT “FULANI BOY” OR TECHNICALLY DOMESTIC SLAVE OR HOUSE SERVANT. THAT IS ALL!

    • khikemie

      Really??? Where is that name assigned to you? Now I see where u are coming from. No group or persons has the monopoly of name so get that right my friend.. And for the reason Danfulani is being suspended just showed that both the university council and their supporters have no idea what a hate speech is. We have heard more hateful speech from Imams aired on NTA and KSTV in Kaduna and nothing has been done to those people. For you to call this a hateful speech just tells me that we have a university run by bunch of ignorants. Am really ashamed that is happening in state whose slogan reads Center of learning.

    • Maverick

      You have forgotten the much hatred a politician like El Rufai has expressed against GEJ.

  • Odiri C. Oghre

    This is yet another example of intolerance for views not shared by APC and its gullible followers. How in God’s name will a University come so low as to query and then suspend a lecturer for his opinion, which he is fully entitled and just happens to be the truth. We are gradually witnessing the resurrection of the infamous decree 2 and 4 of 1984. No society can function where people’s tongues are bridled. We must all rise up against this creeping tyranny that Gen. Buhari and his supporters are foisting on us. It should not be tolerated. That lecturer should be recalled without further delay if the Nigerian State wishes to have peace. This intimidation of members of the opposition and anyone not sharing APC’s view points must stop immediately, for those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.

  • lweka Okparaocha

    This University lecturer (Danfulani) exposed the APC party as a religious party and Northern leaders as an unrealistic human beings with religious agender by saying the honest truth. It is not a hate speech at all, not even near of being a hate speech, but more of advice of demostrating peaceful co-existence of religious tolerance. It is a same for Kaduna State University to suspend him, intead of congratualating him.

    • whales1212

      The confidence with which you guys display ignorance is unbelievably huge to be honest, you need to read a bit about how to behave in a corporate or public organisation. You don’t use your freedom of speech to offend others and then claim it is your right,there are responsibilities that come with every right. You’ll be sacked if your employer can prove your comments are filled with hate and bigotry. They can and you can go to court.

      • Fuzio

        Please could you zero in on the particular aspect of that post that constitute hate speech and offends you.

    • Shugaba Nkasa

      exposed??? How?

  • Uzoma

    I fail to see anything in what this guy posted that rises to the level of hate speech or could be construed as inciting violence. While we all need to learn to be sensitive to the feelings of our neighbours and the various groups that populate the country, we also need to be careful not to promote the kind of intolerance of other views that has led to the suspension of this lecturer.

  • Murtala Mohammed Gimi

    I don’t care whether it is his opinion or whatever, so long as the decision of the university safe some soul from been lost. No opinion of anybody worth a drop of blood of human being.

    • BankyMons

      So the University should hide under the fear of being attacked by the hoodlums and make decisions that are barbaric such as this one here? Then they should cease to be a University!!!!!

      • muhammad

        If you know that you or some one close to you could fall a victim i know you will not make such a comment.

        • BankyMons

          I don’t do sentiments. Answer my simple question – so a university should cower under the threat (potential) of violence by hoodlums? I await your answer.

  • muazu wali

    Danfulani should sort out his inferiority complex in his village. No educated northerner who went through the university and working in an academic environment will call a Christian (kafiri). Yes in the village you may find these religious differences more pronounced. It is unacedrmic to generalise and abuse people as we have seen in the write up.

  • Fuzio

    I see nothing derogatory or hateful in the Lecturer’s post. The guy was just relating his personal experience. Suspending him is the wrong approach. There is something that is called freedom of speech in this country.

    • FormerNigerian

      Actually, there USED to be something called freedom of speech in Nigeria.

      • Felix Udoh

        Apt.

    • muhammad

      If the lecturer had used your people or your village to make freedom of speech you might have thought differently. Hmmmm!

      • Fuzio

        We understand that freedom is a threat to islam but you have to live with it.

  • Tafidan Dogon Daji

    I salute the courage of Univesity authorities for the painstaking decision againsg

    • Conservative seer

      Are u sane?, what happened to freedom of speech?

    • Maverick

      What is the difference from what John wrote and KU’s actions? Because he didn’t call buhari God, he’s been sacked. Whatever happened to freedom of speech. Did the northerners not call GEJ more hateful names? Did buhari not call for blood on dogs and cats? Did he not profess an ungovernable nigeria in 2011? Which hate is more than declaring 95% to 5% divide and rule method in world television?

      • Omotolaaraujo

        It was a PDP politician, Alhaji Lawal Kaita who actually said Nigeria would be ungovernable if Jonathan became president in 2011.

        Try quoting Buhari proper: “If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’

        You are either the dog, or the baboon.

  • hardfacts

    What is the difference from what John wrote? Because he didn’t call buhari God, he’s been sacked. Whatever happened to freedom of speech. Did the northerners not call GEJ more hateful names? Did buhari not call for blood on dogs and cats? Did he not profess an ungovernable nigeria in 2011? Which hate is more than declaring 95% to 5% divide and rule method in world television?

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  • FormerNigerian

    I see all the muslim terrorists are out in force to condemn this guy for daring to speak the truth. I feel a great pity for Nigerians.

  • This is a case of Dr John D: from all indication (mathematically) is a two sided coin, which could be head or tell. ‘Me’ think, Kaduna State have had enough of this bigotry. Please, give us peace to have proper and well-grounded education for the young citizens of Kaduna State.

  • Omotolaaraujo

    “Attack the attacker, and let the skies fall” sounds like hate speech to me.

  • James Bond

    The lecturer has a right to his views but what he forgot is that you’ve to be careful what you post on Facebook because those postings can reflect on your official capacity. A lot of people fail to make that distinction and have therefore lost their jobs because of what they posted on Facebook which their employers found out about.

  • Hannatu Adamu

    People need to be careful when using social media platforms. There may be need to sensitize people on the difference between “hate speech” and “fair comment.” Sometimes, the dividing line is faint.

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