As the 2019 general election draws near, with tension building steadily to fever pitch around the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has issued stern warnings to the elite to steer clear of inflammatory comments, saying his government “will never condone or tolerate” such. Buhari stated this yesterday in Uyo at the 24th convocation ceremony of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO). He directed the security agencies to be on the lookout for persons that make statements capable of instigating crisis.
The president urged tertiary institutions in the country to guide communities to make informed decisions during next year’s general election.
Buhari said, “Our elites must stop misleading our people, they must refrain from speaking ill of this nation and spreading hate, they must refrain from spreading fear in the society. The development and progress we all clamour for can never thrive in a hate-filled and divisive society.
“At this point, I want to be very clear and unequivocal; the Federal government will never condone or tolerate incendiary remarks from any person or group of persons, which are meant to harass, intimidate, cause fear and spread hate, no matter how highly place such person is.
“Law enforcement agencies should fish out people who make inciting statements, instigate civil disobedience, broadcast haste speeches or stir up strife, riot and rebellion and bring them to book.
“The federal government is also not in support of farmers-herders conflict and killings. Government is doing and will continue to do its best to ensure that peace is maintained and security of lives is guaranteed in our country. We should continue to live together as brothers and sisters.”
The president, who is the Visitor to the university, was represented by the Director, Corporate Communications, Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), Ibrahim Usman Yakasai.
To solve the major challenges that Nigeria faces, Buhari appealed to universities in country to focus more on technological and scientific research. He said dearth of adequate technological and scientific research was a major cause of Nigeria’s underdevelopment.
“Our universities should be able to rank high among other universities in Africa and the world so as to be able to come up with solutions to our economic and political problems,” he declared.
The president said the federal government had continued to support research and development at the universities through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) to leverage on scholarly research. He maintained that the country would continue to look up to the universities for enduring solutions to some of the challenges facing the country.
Buhari: We’ll Never Tolerate Incendiary Remarks, Spread Hate