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Hate speech will be tackled, so Nigeria can be a sane place to live in again – Garba Shehu


President Buhari’s spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu has called for the regulation of social media which he said has led to lawlessness, violence and deaths. 

Mallam Shehu said this while speaking at a media award event organised by Kawararafa Reporters, said the Nigerian government was not against free speech but against use of social media to wreck havoc. 

Mr Shehu said; 

“For instance, the entire Kasuwan Magani saga that resulted in the death of more than 50 people was because someone posted misleading information on WhatsApp that went viral. 

“All countries in the world are trying to make laws to check the excesses. Many countries are trying to control the situation. The Europeans have placed a new law that holds the companies responsible.

“In United Kingdom, the parliament has received a report on social media. There is a youth addiction to it, just like cigarettes. Without any form of control, it has done harm to women, ethnic minorities, individuals, institutions and countries. 

He also pointed out that journalists around the world undergo training, accreditation and licensing before practicing while social media users with a phone, a tablet or laptop anyone can reach millions, sometimes for good and other times with ulterior motives. 

Garba Shehu further argued that the Nigerian constitution never anticipated social media, thus the need to tackle hate speech so Nigeria can be a sane place to live in. 

He added;

“The federal government is saying that stakeholders should come together and agree on regulation. We know that no matter how bad the situation it favours someone.

“Some have argued that our constitution already has laws in libel, but the laws of the ‘60s never anticipated social media.

“No government has the right to muzzle freedom of speech. We don’t support the taking of lives as punishment. People insult others and share false information on social media. I hope that hate speech will be tackled so that Nigeria will be a sane place to live in.”


  1. Nigeria does not have something worthwhile to do at this time than to spend money on what they call ‘Hate Speech Bill’ This is foolishness,
    Amidst all our economic challenges,we could not look for a means to restructure the Economy,provide jobs for our teeming Youth,revamp our Educational System,but only to waste our time talking of ‘Hate Speech Bill’

    As a matter of fact,if you are doing well in life, you will not be bothered of scandals,but when you know that you are offending people and trampling on people’s rights,then you would be afraid of castigation and scandalous remarks.

    Let us stop all this bluffing and call a spade a spade.
    How can a mere talking or writing be taken more serious than an action?

    The government should have enacted a ‘Hate Bill’ than a Hate Speech Bill. This means if you kill you will be killed,no matter who is involved.But now, people are killing people all over this Country.Insecurity is on the high side.People are kidnapped,abducted,slaughtered on daily basis in this Country.No bill has been passed against them.But only people that are merely talking or writing that would have a bill passed against them.

    Let us stop deliberating on issues that will profit us nothing and stop wasting our National resources on irrelevant issues, and talk of ways of reconstructing this Country and employ machinery to protect lives and property.
    That is the greatest obligation of any Government. Nigerians should be wise!


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