1. This is a very sensitive period in the history of our country, as the unity, peace and security of our country are being increasingly threatened by incendiary statements from various groups across the country.
2. Hate speeches are being spewed out daily, with reckless abandon. Most people have forgotten how hate speeches helped to trigger genocide in Rwanda in 1994, killing between 800,000 and one million people.
3. When the hate speech phenomenon is is added to the growing problem of fake news, disinformation and misinformation, we have a most incendiary mix that could undermine the unity, peace and security of any country.
4. This is why I want to use the opportunity of this visit of His Royal Highness, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III, to appeal to our traditional institutions across the country to intervene urgently to douse the tension enveloping the land. The traditional rulers have a huge role to play in keeping our country safe and keeping our people united. They have always played this role, but we need them now more than ever.
5. May I also appeal to the media to exercise a great deal of restraint in their reporting, so as not to aggravate the tension caused by the divisive tendencies, including hate speech.
6. As I have always said, it is because we have a peaceful country that professionals, including journalists, can carry out their daily chores. It is therefore imperative for us all to be part of government’s efforts to make our country secure and peaceful and keep our people united.