CAN demands definition of hate speech.
Any attempt by Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State to instigate or kick start the arrest of any Christian leader, especially, the Founder and Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr Paul Enenche, would be resisted by the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), unless what constitutes hate speech is unambiguously spelt out .
This was made known in a statement by
CAN’s spokesperson, Pastor Bayo Oladeji on Wednesday, according to him, the warning is not unconnected with reports that Dr. Enenche could be arraigned for hate speech.
In the statement, Oladeji said, “Any attempt to arrest and harass any of our pastors again will be considered an attempt to silence the voice of the church and reasoning in our nation .
“Let the government define clearly the difference between what is considered hate speech and advocacy for dying victims of continuous killings in Nigeria.
On the allegation that Enenche’s speech had sparked up recent killings that rocked Kasuwan Magani on October 18, 2018, that was followed by the assassination of the Agom Adara , Dr Maiwada Galadima, on October 26, 2018, CAN qurries: “What do you expect from a church leader whose members and fellow citizens are being killed daily without any satisfactory measures to abate the killings ? Are we to keep clapping for government while people are being massacred in cold blood?”
CAN, while registering it’s abhorrence for hate speech concluded that, it was high time a process is instituted for establishing what constitute hate speech.
According to the Christian body, the allegation against Dr. Enenche is baseless and that he merely made reference to a news item on how a Christian monarch was killed.
“The main subject of Dr Enenche ’s clip which Governor el -Rufai is alleging to be hate speech to us is an outright condemnation of the fate that has befallen the Adara people and Christians in Southern Kaduna through the creation of new emirates, namely; Lere, Kagarko and Kujuru. By the creation of these emirates, especially that of Kajuru, the Adara people have been subjugated.
“While we will continue to condemn hate speech by religious leaders and other Nigerians, we cannot stand and watch our respected leaders being set up for molestation, humiliation and prosecution for an unfounded hate speech.”
CAN said el-Rufai who himself had made hate speeches in the past could not claim innocence of the offence.
The association wondered why the governor had failed to bring the killers to book but was more interested in apprehending a cleric under the guise of hate speech.