The organised labour has said it is planning to stage a nationwide peaceful protest on corruption and the recent increase in the fine for hate speech.
The Federal Government has, in its recent review of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, increased the hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million.
But speaking with LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt, Deputy National President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Chief Chika Onuegbu said the increase in the fine was an attempt to gag the media.
Onuegbu urged the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to make bring up the matter with the organised labour so that it can be taken up from there.
He stated that the review of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code was not aimed at stopping hate speech but was targeted at stopping people from criticizing the government.
The TUC Deputy President said: “I think right now the labour centres are planning a protest for anti-corruption. So, we will expect the NUJ to bring up this matter so that we can take it up from there because indeed, the unilateral increase in the fine for hate speech is not geared towards stopping hate speech, but was actually targeted at stopping people from criticizing the government.
“That was because what we read on the newspaper, I don’t know whether it is true, that a certain former CBN Deputy Governor, talked about certain truth that he says he knows about the insurgency and he talked about it on a radio programme. The radio programme was a live programme and there is no how the radio or television station will know what somebody is going to say in a life programme..
“Moreover, the person that said these things was a former CBN Deputy Governor. So, he is not a riff-raff that you will say that he doesn’t know what he was saying. Rather than gagging the media, because, I see that as an attempt to gag the media, I expect the government to invite the man and perhaps, let the man educate them on what he means and that may be a solution to insurgency.
“But the way government is handling it may suggest other things that what government wants us to think. Some people may think that perhaps that are elements of truth in what they man was saying and somebody somewhere wants to block people from knowing the truth.”