Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka, has said the country does not need a legislation on hate speech and death sentence for violators was unnecessary.
Amuka said issues concerning hate speech and libel were already taken care of in the constitution and those aggrieved could seek redress in the law court.
He said those who in power and feel they were maliciously criticised could describe the criticism as hate news.
“This is why the sort of thing that we practice as journalists becomes important. I do not think that death sentence is the answer to hate news. I do not think that we need to impose legislation against hate news and fake news media because our constitution has stated what you should do. You can sue,” Amuka said.
He added that he was victim of hate news, following his involvement in the Omoyele Sowore matter.
“Some of you would have heard that on the Sowore matter, I was among the persons that went to the DSS. What was published online that we saw, that we heard is the opposite of what actually happened.
“Indeed, we went to DSS, but it was to tell the DSS to release Sowore because we believe that keeping him was not good for the government. It was not to negotiate with Sowore to come to terms with the government and Buhari.
“So, what do you do about it? It is not death sentence that is required. It needs some maturity, some development. Decide that look, in this day and age, you must reconcile. Yesterday is gone and the way we live, we must reconcile to this, we must find, think about the next thing to do to get positive results in the interest of the country,” Amuka said.
Chairman of the occasion and immediate past chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, highlighted the importance of the media to Nigeria.