President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his resolve to intensify the clampdown on perpertrators of cyber crime, aka ‘Yahoo Boys’, and hate speech on social media.
The president, in his Independence Day speech delivered Tuesday, October 1, said his administration is “increasingly focused” on both societal ills.
He said although the constitution guarantees freedom of expression and association, “decisive action” will be taken against anything or anyone that threatens national security.
“Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media,” the president said.
“Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.”
Furthermore, President Buhari called for tolerance, enjoined Nigerians to be tolerant and exercise mutual respect “in airing their grievances and frustrations”.
He reminded the citizenry to always remember the “lessons of our past” and stressed that “hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction”.
Buhari said: “Whilst the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, we must not forget the lessons of our past – lessons that are most relevant on a day such as this.
“The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.”
In the speech, the president also noted that the Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are determined to continue combating the menace of institutionalized corruption in public service.
“The blight of Corruption is fighting back. Nevertheless, this is a battle that we shall see through and this is a war, which we shall win by the Grace of God,” he added.
“Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption.”