Kaduna State governor, Nasiru El-Rufa’i, on Tuesday denied that his government is muzzling the media and suppressing the rights of people to free speech.
He, however, declared that he will not condone “irresponsible” newsmen or organisations.
El-Rufai who spoke through his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, said his government would not accept any report that incites violence and ignites crisis in the state.
“Contrary to the false assertions from some quarters, the government of Kaduna state does not seek to muzzle the free press or journalists in the performance of their duty.
“As a government, it is our constitutional mandate to protect against actions that disrupt the society such as irresponsible journalism that spread falsehood, publishes inciting stories and turn our people against one another.
“I am convinced that the active participation of Civil Society Organizations in conflict prevention, resolution and peace building will help the government in fostering harmonious living and peaceful co-existence in our country.
“We must all rise against voices that promote division and those who promote hate speeches which incites people to violence against those they differ from.
“People must learn to tolerate one another and respect others even when they differ on political ideology, religion or tribe,’’ he said.