By Umar Salam.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has warned Twitter users to steer clear of tweeting fake news about the state or risk jail term if the effect of their tweet leads to crisis or loss of life.
The governor made this known on Tuesday in Abuja, during the launch of a book titled, ‘Digital Wealth’ by popular blogger, Japheth Omojuwa.
He stressed that the state government will apprehend all peddlers of fake news regardless of their location in the country.
“We should not confuse freedom of expression with freedom to kill. If you tweet something that is fake or you tweet something that is reckless without checking and it leads to the death of people, then you deserve to be tried at least as an accessory before or after the fact of murder.
“In Kaduna State we have done that very aggressively because there are things that have been put on social media that have led to the death of people. So, we take it very seriously. You cannot sit in Port Harcourt or Lagos and start posting stuff that leads to societal instability in Kaduna and we let you go.
“We will file charges, we will go and collect you from Port Harcourt or Lagos and bring you before a judge in Kaduna and the judge will decide whether you are guilty. We’ve done that two or three times. The people we have done this to are still being prosecuted”, El-Rufai said.
He added, “If you want to tweet something about Kaduna, be very careful because I am watching.”
Recall that the Kaduna State governor had been accused of hate speech during the build-up to the 2019 general elections after he threatened that any foreigner who interfered in the elections would leave in a body bag.