The Kaduna State Security Council has announced that it will henceforth prosecute any group of persons or individuals inciting ethno-religious crisis in the state.
Rising from its weekly security meeting yesterday, the Council said the warning is necessary following reports of utterances of individuals that are capable of creating social unrest in the state.
“The attention of the Kaduna State Security Council has been drawn to illegal activities going on in some institutions of higher learning, places of worship and in social gatherings aimed at inciting people against each other along religious and ethnic lines.
“The Council said it has noted the regrettable circulation of posters and leaflets containing hate speech. While condemning this sort of behaviour, the Council warned those involved to desist or face the full weight of the law.
“The Constitution of this country grants every citizen the right to freely express and hold opinion. The right to free speech is one of the noblest expressions of liberty and it is intended to uplift mankind; therefore, it cannot be used as a cover to set people against each other or to be exercised so recklessly that it becomes a barrier to the enjoyment of similar rights by others or actually imperils the rights of other citizens to respect for their dignity, security and lives.
“All those preaching hate are hereby cautioned that the defence of the constitution will compel their prosecution for violating its provisions. Anyone found culpable will be prosecuted by security agencies in accordance with relevant laws. The Council especially warns against the circulation of false reports, and the propagation of items that alarm people and create tensions without any basis. People are advised to verify the accuracy and authenticity of information they disseminate.
“The Council wishes to add that security agencies will arrest and subsequently prosecute groups and individuals inciting tensions via circulation of hate speech or any act contributory to breakdown of law and order in the State.
“The Council commended citizens for their vigilance in reporting instances of hate speech to the appropriate authorities. People should refrain from taking the law into their hands, no matter the depth of offense they may feel.