The Kaduna State Security Council has warned that any group or individual inciting ethno-religious crisis would be prosecuted. This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity.
According to the statement, anyone or group of persons that engage in conduct likely to incite ethno-religious crisis in Kaduna State would be prosecuted.
It stated that the council made the announcement after its weekly meeting adding that the warning came following reports on utterances of certain individuals that are capable of creating social unrest.
“The attention of the council has been drawn to illegal activities going on in some institutions of higher learning, places of worship and social gatherings aimed at inciting people against each other along religious and ethnic lines.”
The statement noted that the council frowned at the circulation of posters and leaflets containing hate speech. It added that while condemning this sort of behaviour, the council warned those involved to desist or face 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 becomes a barrier to the enjoyment of similar rights by others.
“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.”
It warned 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,” it added.
The statement 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.
“The following security help lines numbers are available 08081708671, 08064810676 and 08050366625 are available around the clock,’’ it noted