President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration’s attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media.
The president made this known while delivering his Independence Day address on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 to mark Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary in Abuja.
The 76-year-old encouraged all citizens to always exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations.
He said, “Whilst we uphold the constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our national security, we will take firm and decisive action.
“In this regard, I reiterate my call for all to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations.
“Whilst the ongoing national discourse on various political and religious issues is healthy and welcome, we must not forget the lessons of our past – lessons that are most relevant on a day such as this.
“The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction.”
On security, Buhari said that good governance and economic development could not be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security.
“In the last four years, we have combated the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results.
“We are also grateful to our neighbours and allies – within the region and across the world – who have supported us on this front.”
He reassured that the capacity of the armed forces to defend the Nation’s territorial integrity would continue to be enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware as well as continued improvements in the working conditions of the security personnel.