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.