Former Governor of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose, has become the latest political bigwig to weigh in on the ongoing controversy surrounding the implementation of the set penalty against hate speech offences in Nigeria.
The highly controversial Fayose took to his official Twitter handle where he shared a series of tweets, condemning the move by the National Broadcasting Commission to wield the big stick against erring media outlets found wanting for the promotion of hate speech through their various platforms.
Recall that Daily Times had earlier reported NBC’s decision to fine Nigeria Info, a Lagos based radio station over what was construed as professional misconduct for promoting the publication of inciting comments on its morning programme, Morning CrossFire.
In his reaction, the former Governor alleged that those who have used the media to criticize past governments have now placed a serious bar on the media mandate for their self-serving interests
“Sad that those who used the media to spread all kinds of lies while seeking power are afraid of a free press now that they are in power. You don’t want Nigerians to speak against President, Governors, Lawmakers and others who are like their servants”? Fayose said in a tweet.
The implementation of the penalty for hate speech related offences has created a hornet’s nest, to say the very least. In a reactionary comment, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the code, holding that ‘it inhibits the workings of a free society’. Similarly, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), have kicked against the code. They called on the Federal Government to immediately withdraw the fine against Nigeria Info. The group threatened to take legal action if the penalty against the radio station was not struck out.