Hate Speach: Osinbajo Blasts Nigeria’s Elite For Promoting Disunity

*Attends Armed Forces College graduation in Jaji
After series of consultations among leaders in of the East, north of the country as well as Christian and Muslim clerics in the past few weeks, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, in an apparent summary, on Friday, accused the nation’s elite of beating drums of disunity.
Speaking as special guest of honour at the graduation of the 2017 class of Senior Course 39 of the Armed Forces Command & Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, Prof Osinbajo said the hate-filled agitation currently being witnessed in the polity “was essentially an elite phenomenon… which the vast majority of the Nigerian people are only later conscripted.”
Restating the Federal Government’s irrevocably commitment “to freedom of expression and the tenets of a free press,” he said the line must be drawn “between freedom that conduces to healthy democracy and that which threatens and endangers the entire democratic enterprise . It is an important balance, that we mmust drawust strike. Failure in any way will be tragic.”
He further observed that the problem is exacerbated by the influence of the internet and hate media, emphasizing that “today a great deal of the threats facing Nigeria are being nurtured and cultivated in the vast spaces of the Internet.
“The rumblings of secession, the dangerous quit ultimatums to ethnic groups, the radio stations and blogs that spew divisive speech and exploit our fault lines; all of these are now to be found online,” he lamented.
The Acting President noted that though the days of military rule are now behind the nation, he charged members of the Armed Forces, nonetheless to devote resources and talent to these new battlefields, including the internet, “where mindless verdicts on the continued unity and existence of Nigeria are daily being delivered.”
Continuing, he said “the battle is not just to defeat the terrorists, the greater battle is to defeat the ideology and mindset that feeds the madness and to cut off its oxygen, money and publicity.”
Prof Osinbajo however expressed optimism stating that “the truth is that our nation and national unity is worth preserving and protecting. We are the preeminent power in Africa today in terms of population, size of our markets , natural resources and economy.  We are a factor in the geopolitics of the world, no one can ignore a nation state that is home to one in every four black persons. Smaller is weaker not stronger today.”
He charged Nigerians to rise above unproductive ethnic and religious sentiments and in the process “develop the emotional intelligence required to cope and adapt in a swiftly and constantly changing world. We must adopt a global mindset, that seeks to learn from the experiences of other countries, far and near, so that we do not waste valuable time repeating mistakes that we should have learned from and learned to avoid”.
The great challenge and the wonderful opportunity for this generation of the Nigerian elite is to build a new nation out of the rubble of cynicism, division and suspicions.
“We can build  a new nation; a new nation  built on trust, consensus and love for one another and  love for our country is possible. A nation where the rulers do not steal the commonwealth, where every Nigerian is safe to live and work, where the State takes responsibility for the security of each and every Nigerian, where the State knows every Nigerian by name and can find and locate each one of us”, he added.
The Acting President envisioned “a Nigeria where the Ibo or Ijaw man can live peacefully in Sokoto, and the Fulani man can live peacefully in the Niger Delta.”
In his welcome address, at the ceremony also attended by the state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Minister of Defence, Rtd Gen Mansur Dan-Ali and top military chiefs, Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshall S. A. Dambo, announced that 187 persons graduated, comprising officers from the nation’s Armed Forces, paramilitary and Ministry of Foreign Affairs including 10 international officers from Liberia, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Niger, Mali, Rwanda and Gambia.
Dignitaries who attended the graduation ceremony also included representatives of Service Chiefs, very senior military officers, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Amb Danjuma Sheni and members of the diplomatic corps