Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the present administration will no longer tolerate hate speech by desperate politicians.
He also told traditional rulers in the country to stick to their responsibilities as guardians and counselors in the country as the nation prepares for next general election.
He said this at the 10th general assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) in Abuja, on Monday.
Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event, urged the traditional rulers to also caution politicians from making statements that could incite the people.
He said: “We have had in the past, various degrees of violence during previous elections which was the outcome of irresponsible utterances, hate speech by some ‘desperate politicians’ apparently designed to provoke or incite violence. That would not be tolerated again.
“Your positions as traditional rulers accord you considerable influence and respect of your subjects. So, I urge you to take up your responsibility of guidance and counselling, and enlighten your subjects on the need to shun animosity, conflict and violence during or after the elections.
“It’s also important that you mobilise them to participate in the electoral process by voting candidates or party of their choice; without fear of molestation, intimidation or harassment.”
On his part, the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, who is the co-chairman of Council, expressed his displeasure over the inadequate measures against security in the country, noting that unrest in some parts of Nigeria may affect the upcoming general election.
The Sultan challenged government to step up security ahead of the elections, for the safety of voters.
He equally challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to harvest views and suggestions of all relevant stakeholders to ensure free, fair, credible elections.
Meanwhile, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, said the era of landslide victory in Nigerian elections are forever gone.