Violence and war aren’t going to do any good – Acting President

Osinbajo also advised that Nigerians should not tolerate hate speech as it sometimes kicks off what eventually becomes a full blown war.

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has said violence and war won’t do any good to anyone drumming or chanting the songs of war and violence.

     “One thing is clear – violence and war are not going to do anyone any good. They are terrible and they mean no good. They are easy to start but near impossible to end,” Osinbajo said while speaking with thought leaders from South Eastern Nigeria.

Continuing, he said: “In fact, history has shown us especially contemporary history that wars today hardly ever end. They just simply go on. Indeed, you’re all aware of the Igbo proverb that says that “aman who rushes into battle does not realize that battle entails death.”

“We are witnesses to the unspeakable devastation that war continues to inflict across the world. No one who has seen the horrors of war – even merely on television – would wish it on their worst enemy.  

“It is also clear that wars sometimes start, not with bullets, but with words. Hateful, incendiary speech, opening floodgates of blood. The tongue, like the pen, is often mightier than the sword – because it is what pushes the sword into action. When we throw words like stones in a marketplace we do not know who or what it will hit,” he said.

Osinbajo also advised that Nigerians should not tolerate hate speech as it sometimes kicks off what eventually becomes a full blown war.

“Knowing this, under no conditions whatsoever should we tolerate or excuse or justify hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind, especially where such is illegal. Let me of course acknowledge that as part of living together in this space called Nigeria, misunderstandings and frustrations are inevitable. Because resources are limited there will always be a striving to get what is perceived as the best seat at the table.   All of that is normal and to be expected, especially in a democracy, like ours.

“A healthy democracy ought to be a theatre of energetic striving by all parties and stakeholders. But things should never descend to a level where mutual suspicions override the desire to live together in peace and harmony.  

   “Yesterday I made it clear, very clear that hate or divisive speech, or divisive behaviour, where it is illegal, will be met with the full force of the law. And I want to say it again today that let there be no doubt whatsoever of the resolve of government to ensure that no one will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause division especially violence.

“We will take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or to disrupt the peace of Nigeria and it will certainly not be tolerated.   And the reason why it cannot be tolerated is that the very many innocent men, women, children and the vulnerable amongst us deserves safety and security and our own emotions must not be allowed to run wild in such a way as to endanger the lives of so many. And I believe that all are clear that we’re resolute in our determination as government to protect every Nigerian, everywhere in the country.

Everywhere in this country, it is the primary duty of government to ensure the security of lives and property and we take that duty very seriously indeed.   We will do everything within our power to defend and uphold the terms of our constitution, which declares that we are one nation under God.   It also guarantees the free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the country, as well as full residence rights for every citizen in all and any parts of the land of their choice. It is also the aspiration of the Constitution to ensure a country in which, and I quote, “loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.” 

“And it is the responsibility of the Government to create the conditions for the attainment of these ideals. There is something that President Buhari is fond of saying, and he’s repeated it am sure so many of us have heard it: that without peace and security there can be no development. That the first obligation that we owe if we want to develop, is to ensure peace and security. We cannot develop a country that is not in the first place safe and secure for all people.

“For this reason we take extremely seriously our constitutional responsibilities as your government. Those responsibilities also include listening to, consulting, and engaging with you; giving every citizen and every part of the Federation a sense of belonging and significance. And that is why we are here today.   I expect that our conversations here today will be frank and constructive, open and that all our deliberations will go towards ensuring that our country is a better place, a more peaceful place to live in.

This is an important moment for all of us and for our country, and I hope that at the end of it we will all be satisfied that we have accomplished something significant not just for ourselves but for the future.   By the grace of God we will leave to coming generations a peaceful, secure and prosperous nation; a nation in which all citizens, regardless of their ethnic, religious affiliations, or their ages or gender will feel deep and enduring pride,”




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