Sultan wants hate speech, fake news criminalised

Sultan of Sokoto [Photo Credit: Daily Trust]
Sultan of Sokoto [Photo Credit: Daily Trust]

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, said on Thursday that the traditional institution was in support of the recent move by the Federal Government to criminalise hate speech and fake news.

The Sultan, who stated this in Abuja at the Annual Lecture Series and 25th Anniversary of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, added that hate speech should be declared as terrorism offence.

He said that the traditional institution was in support of the recent declaration by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President that “none will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause sedition or that can cause violence’’.

The monarch said that the phenomenon of hate speech and fake news had reached an alarming state and decisive action should be taken by the government.

The monarch said he was a victim of fake news only on Wednesday when he was misrepresented at a Nigerian Labour Congress event in Abuja that “he kicked against Restructuring’’

He clarified his position at the event that he was only against any restructuring that would lead to the disintegration of Nigeria.

The monarch said that he was also shocked by a Television station report which claimed that there was “fracas” at the same event.

“Shortly after the event, many people were calling me that what was I doing at the event where there was “fracas’’.

“There was nothing like fracas at that event as reported by a popular TV station which I will not name here.

“A former comrade governor who was at the event canvassed a position which did not go down well with the audience and people were shouting.

“The President of NLC waded into the situation and the Comrade Governor continued with his speech.

“At the end of the speech the former governor was given a loud ovation. So, how can that, be described as fracas,” he said.

The monarch said he was shocked to see news report on the event with the headline, “Restructuring, Sultan kicked, Oshiomhole booed’’

The monarch said that the freedom of speech as enshrined in the Constitution should not be used to violate other people’s rights.

He also decried a recent development where President Muhammadu Buhari’s health condition was politicised and made to generate hate speeches.

He called on political and religious leaders at all levels to guide their utterances and condemn hate speeches.

Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, Sani Abacha, also decried the alarming rate of hate speech.

He said although the phenomenon was not new, government must be decisive in addressing the trend.

Mr. Al-Mustapha said there was international dimension to sponsorship of hate speech especially by those who had seen the potential of Nigeria.

He said local collaborators were being recruited as merchants to use fake news to subvert the nation.

Mr. Al-Mustapha, therefore, called on NBC to create synergy with the international intelligence community in addressing the challenge.

He also called for regulation of the review of only front pages of newspapers in the television and radio station programmes.

Mr. Al-Mustapha said that knowing well that the review attracted large follower-ship, sponsors of hate speech messages will always ensure that their stories are published in front pages while developmental news are tucked inside the papers.

He charged the media organisations to wake up to their statutory responsibilities and shun act that will disintegrate the country.



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  • vay

    Can’t this bedsheets hugger just shut up? You ve past ur relevance

    • Luke Aikkiomon


      People have been saying APC party wants to herd Nigerians into a line like cows.
      The way they plan to do so is to control thought-process with police power as APC
      thinks it has already defeated the newspapers in Nigeria, and now wants to control
      thought-process on the internet, in a battle the APC party of illiterates will surely lose.

  • Charles

    During Jonathan regime, it was fake news and hate speech that was used by apc to bring his government down, and it was applauded as freedom of speech, now the same is used against buhari regime, we want to legislate against it, so if Jonathan can tolerate it why can’t buhari?

    • dami

      Illiteracy is a big concern in nigeria….there’s a big difference btw allegations of theft, name calling, and alluding to incompetence as opposed to statements that choose to divide solely based on religion / tribe or skin color or language.

      • mayGodpunishopressors

        you are the most illiterate. A twisted mind fellow!!!

  • suleiman

    Haba Sultan! May be a little more reading of the Qur’an would help you mellow down. As a religious leader, you should stay out of politics and encourage your followers to be law abiding, loving and praying for the progress of this country. You are too politicized and compromised! You seem to have forgotten that you are the amir of Islam in the country. You should be preaching love rather than hate. You should be preaching peace rather encourage violence! This is one sultan that has dabbled much in politics than his predecessors and it makes me feel he is simply a political rather than a religious leader. I knew his father personally and he was not involved in political talk. He was the embodiment of love and peace. He was a religious and holy leader to the core. Yaro ba ya gaji halin baban sa ba (the son has not inherited the father’s good virtues)!

    • Gary

      He’s more interested in becoming the pre-eminent traditional ruler of Nigeria. And he’s aided by a pliant media that elevates his personal and mostly sectional political opinions as the corporate positions of ALL traditional rulers in Nigeria.

      He has all the time to make comments on all the divisive issues in the country, but no time to challenge the dangerous doctrines of Salafist/Wahabbi Islam of his Sunni sect that is at the core of the Boko Haram Jihad. He makes no speeches nor declare a Fatwah against the terrorists laying waste to treasure and lives in the Northeast. And he was on their side when the hapless Jonathan was in office.
      Now the Sultan is campaigning against “hate speech” perhaps to shut us up for criticizing the diversion of the Paris Club Loan Refund for the purchase of a palatial “Guest House” for him in Abuja. The N700m cost price represents the entire Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Sokoto State for 2016.
      Nigeria’s other traditional rulers are seldom seen nor even heard making political statements but not this Sultan of Sokoto. He dances to the beat of his own drums.



  • A. Edelstein

    A man brave enough to censor speech and thought crime is a friend of the Jewish people. Shalom!

  • forestgee

    Nothing should disturb the flow of oil money! The many sides of hypocrisy. Convenient to forget dogs and baboon speech that led to the murder of 11 Southern NYSC members in the North, 2011…