- The federal government has been urged by Youths for Change NG, to rein-in former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, over his use of language bordering on hate speech
- The group noted that the former minister had made false allegations against a minister and an aide to the president, and called on the media to ask him (Fani-Kayode) to substantiate his allegations
- They also recalled how Fani-Kayode told a major publication house that Buhari was on life support and would never return to the country as president; an allegation that turned out to be false
Youths for Change NG, an umbrella group of Nigerian youths, has urged the federal government to rein-in former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, if he continues along the path of crude and abusive language, NAN reports.
The group’s National Leader, Mr Seun Bobade,made the call in a statement on Thursday August 31, in Ilorin, stressing that sometimes the abusive language by the former minister bothered on hate speech.
Bobade slammed the former minister “for his ranting and increasingly unsubstantiated allegations’’ which he said were becoming an embarrassment, particularly to youths who had seen him as role model.
He urged the media to always ask Fani-Kayode to substantiate his allegations. He said the media should have asked the former minister to substantiate the allegation he made in his latest tweet.
Bobade added that Fani-Kayode in his latest tweet made some allegations against the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
He recalled that Fani-Kayode had alleged that Mohammed, Adesina and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had threatened to shut down a TV station if it aired his interview.
He said: “The media must hold Fani-Kayode to a higher standard. They should not just regurgitate his allegations without asking him to substantiate such. After all, it’s trite-law that he who alleges must prove.
“The former minister should have been asked to provide incontrovertible evidence of the allegation he made, including to identify the television station by name.
“He should have been asked also to name the particular fellow at the TV station who was threatened over his interview.”
Bobade said it was inconceivable that the minister, Adesina and the NBC would be threatening any station over an interview with an opposition politician.
He said it would run counter to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment to freedom of expression.
He advised the minister and Adesina not to lend any credence to Fani-Kayode by responding to his claim “which amounts to someone’s imagination running wild.”
He said previous allegations by Fani-Kayode had proved to be a mere hoax, recalling that “on July 13, the former minister told Punch newspaper that the president was on life support, that he could not even recognize anyone, and that he would never come back to the country as president.
“One will expect that as the president eventually returned healthy, Fani-Kayode will be challenged; instead, the media indulged him by publishing another unsubstantiated allegation from him, which he must have designed to cover his earlier statement.
“The youths want a country in which government and opposition figures engage in public discourse in an atmosphere devoid of falsehood, personal insults, acrimony and sheer hatred,” he added.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the military said it will not arrest anybody who makes hate speeches on social media because it is not empowered by law to do so.
This bit of information was made public by the director of defence information Major General John Enenche, in an interview on Thursday, August 31.
Enenche said the military had no plans to arrest anyone that makes anti-military or anti-government comments on social media as was widely believed.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video of Nigerians reacting to the news that Buhari was chased out of his office by rats