Pat Utomi, a professor of Political Economics, has warned the federal government that Nigerians will not accept the return of dictatorship during a democratic rule.
Utomi, who is a co-leader of the National Consultative Front, NCF, urged Nigerians to send a “clear” message to the federal government that fascism will not be allowed.
He made the remark in a statement in which he lamented the reviewed code of the National Broadcasting Commission NBC, which imposes a fine of N5m on media houses over hate speech.
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In the statement which was signed by him, Utomi said the government should use its powers against Boko Haram and bandits in the North and not attempt to bring back dictatorship.
In his words, “I also want to invite Nigerians, across all divides, to rise to citizenship and send a clear message to power, that the Nigerian people will not brook a return to dictatorship. If we resisted the military, surely the people can resist civilians bound towards fascism.
“A word is important here also for the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission which has acted inappropriately in levying a fine against a broadcaster for doing their job honourably. They should study carefully the evolution of freedom of expression in the broadcast industry in the United States of America.
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“The doctrine on freedom of expression in the US is premised on the fact that greater harm is done in preventing free expression, even when the person is talking nonsense so that the greater good comes from placing the other point of view in the same public domain and eventually truth overruns falsehood in the discerning public ear and mind.
“In calling on security people to desist from bullying citizens who express their views, and government officials who use their powers to terrorize citizens for demanding accountability from government, I would like a clear reminder to power that security agents in being overzealous have been more responsible for the fall of regimes than any other phenomenon I am aware of.
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“We all owe it as a duty to progress, to keep public conversation reasoned and rational and there should be no hindrance to that. Anyone who thinks he has power should not waste it on law-abiding citizens but should go and engage Boko Haram, or Bandits in the Northwest. We need the peace they can achieve there.”