Chris Steven, Abuja
As apprehension envelopes the country over a quit notice handed down to people of southeast resident in the northern region by a coalition of northern youths, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday urged leaders across the country to speak out against hate speeches and divisive comments.
Speaking at a meeting with leaders of thoughts from the South East, at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Osinbajo said the meeting was very urgent and crucial due to the current loud voices of hate speeches and divisive comments resonating across the country stressing that the situation required urgent attention from all concerned.
The acting president noted that this is not the time to hide under any ethnic or religious platform to support comments that divide rather than unite us as a nation.
He urged leaders to raise their voices against the present strident divisive speeches in the country stressing that “violence pays no one”.
“Violence and war are not going to do anyone any good” Osinbajo said adding that “wars today hardly end. No one who has seen the face of wars even on Television would wish it for anyone. We shouldn’t tolerate hate speeches or divisive comments,” Osinbajo said.
He reiterated Federal Government’s resolve to deal with any trouble maker who threatens the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
“There is no doubt on the resolve of government to allow anyone get away with hate speeches and divisive words. Our emotion should not be allowed to run wide so as to threaten the existence of anyone anywhere in Nigeria. We will do everything within our power to protect the lives of every citizen anywhere and in any part of the country,” he said.
While thanking the leaders for their prompt response to the consultative meeting, the acting president said he expects fruitful and frank deliberations at the meeting.
Some of those present at the meeting were Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, Governor of Enugu Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Ebonyi, David Umahi, Governor of Abia Okezie Ikpeazu and Governor of Anambra Willy Obiano, Rochas Okorocha, chief of staff to the president Abba Kyari, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, NSA, chief of defence staff, service chiefs, IGP, and ministers.
Others are former Senate President Ken Namani, Senator Eyinaya Abaribe, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Catholic Awka Bishop Okoye, Igwebike Onah Catholic archbishop of Nssuka, Senator Joy Emordi, Professor Viola Nwuleri.