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Hate Speech Will Be Treated as Terrorism, Osinbajo Vows



  • Hate Speech Will Be Treated as Terrorism, Osinbajo Vows

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo wednesday in Abuja described hate speech as another form of terrorism, which employs violence and intimidation to achieve certain political objectives, vowing that the federal government would henceforth treat it as an act of terrorism.

Osinbajo issued the warning while addressing the state governors at the opening of the National Economic Council (NEC) security retreat at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.

He recalled that the Terrorism Act defines hate speech as an act done with malice, which has the capacity not only to harm a country but also intimidate the population.

Reiterating that hate speech would not be condoned but taken as an act of terrorism, which he said would also be met with the punishment for terror acts, the acting president appealed to religious, business and political leaders, irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious backgrounds to condemn hate speech in strong terms, even if it emanates from their constituents.

He also recalled how hate speech led to the crisis in Nazi Germany, the extermination of Jews in Europe, monumental genocide in Rwanda and silenced influential voices, warning that if leaders failed to speak up against terrorism, it would amount to a disservice to the unity of the country.

“Please permit me a comment on hate speech. The federal government has drawn a line on hate speech. Hate speech is a specie of terrorism, as it is defined popularly as the unlawful use of violence or intimidation against individuals or groups of persons especially for political aims.

“The law on hate speech, Terrorism Act, 2011, defines hate speech among other definitions as an act deliberately done with malice and which may seriously harm or damage a country or seriously intimidate a population.

“The intimidation of a population by words or speech is an act of terrorism and this government intends to take this matter seriously. As I have said, we have drawn a line against hate speech. It will not be tolerated.

“It will be taken as an act of terrorism and all of the consequences will follow.

“I call on business, political and religious leaders, whatever your political leanings or religion or tribe or faith, to condemn in the strongest possible terms at all times hate speeches.

“Speech that promotes violence against an individual or a group, especially when such speech comes from people of your own faith, tribe or group. Your silence in such situations can only be seen as an endorsement.

“Hate speech and promotion of the same throughout history, from Nazi Germany, to the extermination of Jews, to the Rwandan genocide, succeeded in achieving their barbarous ends by the silence of influential voices from the aggressor communities.

“When leaders in communities that speak in such a manner to create dissection or intimidate the population are quiet, they do a great disservice to our unity. They do a great disservice to our nation.
“This is why I urge all political leaders, religious leaders, business leaders and all of those who truly want a united country, a country where there will be peace and security, to ensure that we do not tolerate by our silence, the hate speech that we hear every day in our communities.

“Let me remind all of us that our constitution states that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of our people. And as President Buhari used to say, ‘We cannot administer a country you have not secured’.

“We will not relent in our vision of a secured country in which all citizens can confidently aspire to achieve their means and ambition. And I am confident that today marks an important milestone in achieving that vision,” he said.

In his remarks at the event, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, who pledged the commitment of the judiciary to doing things differently in the country, assured the gathering that the judicial arm of government was committed to the entrenchment of peace and justice in the country.

According to him, “Whereas it is commonly believed that there are two sides to a coin, in the true sense of events in Nigeria today, there are actually three sides to a coin,” listing them as insecurity, corruption and impunity.

He said if Nigeria must move forward, these three issues must be addressed holistically, pointing out that the support of all Nigerians must be secured if this must be achieved.

“The commitment of the judiciary is to do things differently and in a good manner. Our commitment is to have a good Nigerian society where peace and justice reign.

“I want to tell you also that though we also say that there are two sides to a coin, in reality, there are three sides to a coin.

“In our condition, in terms of where we find ourselves today, it is my personal view that insecurity, corruption, and impunity are the three sides of the same coin which ought to be taken together holistically if we are to move the country forward.

“I want us to think about that and to carry this through, we need the support of Nigerians, particularly the Nigerian on the street who feels deprived in one way or the other, rightly or wrongly.

“It could be imaginary but it ought to be attended to, as where his problems are coming from may not necessarily be the source of his problem.

“But it is necessary for us to look in that direction incase he is right. If we have security and justice, then many of these agitations will equally die down,” Onnoghen stated.

Speaking on behalf of the governors, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said even though nearly all the problems confronting Nigeria today had arisen from the states, the governors were doing their best possible to fix them.
He disagreed with the CJN that there are three sides to a coin, insisting that they are two, which he classified as security and the economy.

He said both of them are inseparable, even as he highlighted the resurgence of terrorism in the North-east, noting that if at all government fails to achieve anything, it must guarantee security.

He observed that whereas agriculture has the capacity to provide employment to 75 per cent of Nigerians, various governments had paid scant attention to agriculture, disclosing that in the last two years, only N23 billion has been invested in the sector.

“The issue of insecurity largely, 99.9 per cent, emanates from the states. Only a few issues are from the centre here in Abuja. It is the primary responsibility of government to secure the lives and property of its citizens.

“The governors are doing their best and the security chiefs can attest to that. We have been shouldering so many responsibilities of logistics in our separate states.

“If government will not achieve anything, it must achieve two things – fighting corruption and ensuring that it stems insecurity. We are still having some pockets of issues in the North-east which is worrisome.
“In the last 12 months, we were experiencing some kind of progress but all of a sudden, it resurfaced again, and also you will agree with me that the issue of security has two sides of a coin, although the CJN said it has three sides.

“Security and the economy have to work together. The issue of insecurity is being supported by our teeming unemployed youths in the streets. Government needs to deploy resources and encourage those in the centre to employ those youth on the streets and take them out of the streets so that they can have something worthwhile to engage them in.

“We have not been paying much attention to agriculture. My reason: in the last 10 years, only N400 billion was invested by either the Central Bank of Nigeria or commercial banks or the capital markets in the sector.

“But in 2010, AMCON came to rescue banks with bad debts and over N4 trillion was injected into AMCON and not much impact was made on agriculture. N23 billion has been invested in 200,000 farmers across the nation in two years. But N23 billion can do nothing for the sector that we believe can give employment to 75 per cent of Nigerians. So more investment is required in the sector,” he stated.

Present at the meeting besides the CJN and governors were the ministers, service chiefs, heads of the anti-graft agencies, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), among others.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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EFCC Declares Former Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, Wanted Over N80.2 Billion Money Laundering Allegations



Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has escalated its pursuit of justice by declaring former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, wanted over alleged money laundering amounting to N80.2 billion.

In a first-of-its-kind action, the EFCC announced Bello’s wanted status in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds during his tenure as governor.

The commission, armed with a 19-count criminal charge, accused Bello and his cohorts of conspiring to launder the hefty sum, which was purportedly diverted from state coffers for personal gain.

The declaration of Bello as a wanted fugitive came after a series of failed attempts by the EFCC to effect his arrest.

Despite an ex-parte order from Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, mandating the EFCC to apprehend and produce Bello in court for arraignment, the former governor managed to evade capture with the reported assistance of his successor, Governor Usman Ododo.

This latest development shows the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in holding powerful individuals accountable for their actions.

However, it also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the EFCC to uphold the rule of law and ensure that justice is served, irrespective of the status or influence of the accused.

In response to the EFCC’s declaration, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, issued a stern warning to Bello, stating that fleeing from the law would not resolve the allegations against him.

Fagbemi urged Bello to honor the EFCC’s invitation and cooperate with the investigation process, saying it is important to uphold the rule of law and respect the authority of law enforcement agencies.

The EFCC’s pursuit of Bello underscores the agency’s mandate to combat corruption and financial crimes, sending a strong message that individuals implicated in corrupt practices will be held accountable for their actions.

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Concerns Mount Over Security as National Identity Card Issuance Shifts to Banks



NIMC enrolment

Amidst the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) recent announcement that the issuance of the proposed new national identity card will be facilitated through applicants’ respective banks, concerns are escalating regarding the security implications of involving financial institutions in the distribution process.

The federal government, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), introduced a new identity card with payment functionality, aimed at streamlining access to social and financial services.

However, the decision to utilize banks as distribution channels has sparked apprehension among industry stakeholders.

Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, clarified that applicants would request the card by providing their National Identification Number (NIN) through various channels, including online portals, NIMC offices, or their respective banks.

Adegoke emphasized that the new National ID Card would serve as a single, multipurpose card, encompassing payment functionality, government services, and travel documentation.

Despite NIMC’s assurances, concerns have been raised regarding the necessity and security implications of introducing a new identity card system when an operational one already exists.

Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, questioned the rationale behind the new General Multipurpose Card (GMPC), citing NIMC’s existing mandate to issue such cards under Act No. 23 of 2007.

Ogunbanjo highlighted the successful implementation of MobileID by NIMC, which has provided identity verification for over 15 million individuals.

He expressed apprehension about integrating the new ID card with existing MobileID systems and raised concerns about data privacy and unauthorized duplication of ID cards.

Moreover, stakeholders are seeking clarification on the responsibilities for card blocking, replacement, and delivery in case of loss or theft, given the involvement of multiple parties, including banks, in the issuance process.

The shift towards utilizing banks for identity card issuance raises fundamental questions about data security, privacy, and the integrity of the identification process.

With financial institutions playing a pivotal role in distributing sensitive government documents, there are valid concerns about potential vulnerabilities and risks associated with this approach.

As the debate surrounding the security implications of the new national identity card continues to intensify, stakeholders are calling for greater transparency, accountability, and collaboration between government agencies and financial institutions to address these concerns effectively.

The paramount importance of safeguarding citizens’ personal information and ensuring the integrity of the identity verification process cannot be overstated, especially in an era of increasing digital interconnectedness and heightened cybersecurity threats.

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Israeli President Declares Iran’s Actions a ‘Declaration of War’



Israel Gaza

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has characterized the recent series of attacks from Iran as nothing short of a “declaration of war” against the State of Israel.

This proclamation comes amidst escalating tensions between the two nations, with Iran’s aggressive actions prompting serious concerns within Israel and the international community.

The sequence of events leading to Herzog’s grave assessment began with a barrage of 300 ballistic missiles and drones launched by Iran towards Israel over the weekend.

While the Israeli defense forces managed to intercept a significant portion of these projectiles, the sheer scale of the assault sent shockwaves through the region.

President Herzog’s assertion of war was underscored by Israel’s careful consideration of its response options and ongoing discussions with its global partners.

The gravity of the situation prompted the convening of the G7, where member nations reaffirmed their commitment to Israel’s security, recognizing the severity of Iran’s actions.

However, the United States, a key ally of Israel, took a nuanced stance. President Joe Biden conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that, given the limited casualties and damage resulting from the attacks, the US would not support retaliatory strikes against Iran.

This position, though strategic, reflects a delicate balancing act in maintaining stability in the volatile Middle East region.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian cautioned against further escalation, emphasizing the potential for heightened tensions and provocative acts to exacerbate the situation.

In response to the escalating crisis, the Nigerian government issued a call for restraint, urging both Iran and Israel to prioritize peaceful resolution and diplomatic efforts to ease tensions.

This appeal reflects the broader international consensus on the need to prevent further escalation and mitigate the risk of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

As Israel grapples with the implications of Iran’s aggressive actions and weighs its response options, President Herzog reiterated Israel’s commitment to peace while emphasizing the need to defend its people.

Despite calls for restraint from global allies, Israel remains vigilant in safeguarding its security amidst the growing threat posed by Iran’s belligerent behavior.

The coming days are likely to be critical as Israel navigates the complexities of its response while international efforts intensify to defuse the escalating tensions between Iran and Israel.

The specter of war looms large, underscoring the urgency of diplomatic engagement and concerted efforts to prevent further escalation in the region.

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