Following the move by the federal government to announce hate speech as a punishable offence, the Nigerian military has stated that it has no power to arrest people who make hate speeches.
Recall that the Nigerian military had stated that it will be monitoring Nigerians on social media for hate speeches, however, yesterday, the Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, while speaking on Channels TV as a guest yesterday has stated that the military has no plans of arresting anyone on social media for making anti-military or anti-government comments.
He noted that the military has no power to make such arrests.
The statement comes after Enenche, on August 23rd revealed that the military has started monitoring Nigerians on social media for anti-government, anti-security, and anti-military comments.
Speaking yesterday, Enenche cleared the air saying: “There was nothing like that. We do not have power to arrest people for hate speeches. It is just false assertion, against the military, and against my humble self that I said that we will be arresting people or checkmating people.”
He added: “The military is not going to be monitoring hate speeches. Did I tell you hate speech in your recordings? We have a strategic media centre, our strategic media centre monitors the media, simple. And it is like that all over the world.
“And we take that because it helps us to transform the nature of the intelligence to enable us to prepare for whatever call up we get to ensure security in this country. Let me tell you and tell the public without fear of anybody; we are trained to do threat analysis of anything that would threaten the security of this country.
“So, it is part of our threat analysis. Any person can interpret it to mean that it is a follow up to the speech of the Vice-President (Yemi Osinbajo), the then Acting President and then the minister of interior; then that person can be right. Where do we take instruction from, where do we get information from? But on the whole, it is part of what is called threat analysis.”