appealed to traditional rulers to support the government in promoting
peace and unity across the country, amid rising cases of incendiary
statements and hate speeches capable of tearing the nation apart.
The Minister, who made the remarks in Abuja on Friday when he received
the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III, on a courtesy
visit to his office, said the phenomenon of fake news, disinformation
and misinformation must also be checked to guard against any attempt
to undermine the unity of the country.
“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 about 800,000 people.
“When the hate speech phenomenon 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
“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,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the traditional rulers have a huge role to play
in keeping the country safe and keeping the people united, adding:
”They have always played this role, but we need them now more than
He also appealed to the media to always exercise a great deal of
restraint in their reporting, so as not to aggravate the tension
caused by the divisive tendencies, including hate speech.
“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,” the Minister said.
He described Oba Olateru-Olagbegi III as an epitome of humility and
simplicity, and promised to do everything within his power to bring to
fruition the project to turn the Olowo’s Palace into a national
monument, in appreciation of the historic contributions of the Olowo
to the country’s development.
In his remarks, Oba Olateru-Olagbegi III said he is visiting the
Federal Capital Territory for the first time under this
administration, with a view to familiarizing himself with the
leadership of the country, especially the Minister of Information and
Culture, who is in charge of the nation’s cultural heritage.