Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned state governors against playing politics with national security especially over the quit notice given to the Igbo living in the 19 states of the north by a coalition northern groups.
Osinbajo reiterated that Nigeria's Constitution guaranteed all Nigerians to live in any parts of the country without molestations, just as he warned people talking carelessly in a way that would threaten the unity of the country.
He said, “There is a part of all of these agitations and statements that are made that is fair and may well be considered as freedom of expression. Clearly, we are all allowed to express our views and there is a part of this that is expected in any healthy and robust democracy, people arguing and disagreeing sometimes even silently.
“But borderline has to be drawn and that is when conversations or agitations degenerate into hateful rhetoric where the narratives degenerate to pejorative name-calling, expressions of outright prejudice and hatred.
“We must sometimes ensure that even in the use of words, we are careful essentially because the kinds of problems that we have seen, the kinds of conflagration that we have seen all over the world even in our own society…..the use of words. Some words can carry a lot of weights and so important that responsible use of words, the responsible expression of dissent is taken as priority.
“As I said, our constitution guarantee freedom of expression and we are a people who like to talk and we talk and we express ourselves very loudly, we express ourselves in an agitated fashion in some cases but it is important for us to recognize that it is those same words that can cause conflagration, can cause alarm and can ultimately lead to calamity
“We must be careful with how we express ourselves. What we have seen in recent times and this is what has brought a lot of the concern because what have seen in recent times is that some of the languages that have been used and some of the expressions have tended to degenerate badly and I think that we must begin to speak up against some of these things and ensure that we protect our democracy and protect our nation from the kinds of rhetoric that may not just divide us but ultimately result in a great deal of trouble.
“The constitution guarantees equality of all Nigerians before the law and the freedom to live and work anywhere in the country in peace and safety without any fear of discrimination or prejudice. That is the guarantee of our constitution and that is the reason why the federal government and state government must be committed to ensuring that every Nigerian citizens lives and works wherever he pleases peacefully and securely.
The Acting President further said, “Going back to some of what was said, some of the issues that came up and I hope that we will discuss in greater details are the issues around the herdsmen and farmers crisis, especially the way that some of these have resulted in flashpoint across the country.
perception about a particular thing. I think it is in our place to ensure that we dig down the fact and ensure that people are given the fact and ensure that we don't colour them with politics.”