Nigerian televangelist and senior pastor of Omega Apostle Suleman Johnson has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of N5 million fine for ‘hate speech’.
The vocal clergy averred that the president’s intention is to gag Nigerians in a similar fashion like his Decree Four of 1984 when he was military Head of State.
Johnson was reacting to the announcement made by the Minister of information Lai Mohammed that the president has approved regulation of online news platform and fine for what he termed hate speech.
Mohammed on Thursday, announced that online news platforms will now be regulated as he inaugurated a seven-man committee to implement reforms in the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Mohammed went on to say that President Buhari approved the upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5 million for hate speech offences as well as the amendment to the NBC act to enable it to license WebTv and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into the country.
Apostle Suleman tweeted; ‘just read about N5m fine for hate speech…there is a thin line between freedom of speech/hate speech. This is a deliberate attempt to silence people..we could back date its implementation to 2014’.
“What should be addressed is fake news..lies been peddled. unverified stories..that way, there will be media-sanity..but with this, every voiced opinion that appears confrontational to govt will be tagged ‘hate speech’…leaders, always remember you won’t be in power forever’. he continued
He further stated, “Lord visit Nigeria with your mercy..take out everyone against our wellbeing..whether among the rulers or the opposition..give us people who will take care of the poor and give jobs..make Nigeria a place no one will be willing to leave..we know it will come to pass in Jesus name’.