President Muhammadu Buhari has warned Nigerian elites to stop misleading the people through their unguarded utterances.
Buhari, who is the visitor to University of Uyo, gave the warning at the 24th convocation ceremony of the institution on Saturday.
The President, who was represented by Mr Ibrahim Yakasai, Director of Corporate Communications, National University Commission (NUC), said that development and progress could not thrive in a hate-filled and divisive society.
He said universities as home of great thinkers, should give guidance to the communities to enable the people to make informed decisions as we approached 2019 general elections.
He said that the Federal Government would not condone or tolerate incendiary remarks from any person or group of persons which were meant to cause fear and spread hate in the country.
Buhari said that the federal government would continue to do its best to ensure the maintenance of peace and security of lives and property in the country.
“At this point, I want to be very clear and equivocal, that the Federal Government will never condone or tolerate incendiary remarks from any person or group of persons, which are meant to harass, intimidate, cause fear and spread hate, no matter how highly placed such a person is.
” Law enforcement agencies should fish out people who make inciting statements, instigate civil disobedience, broadcast hate speeches or stir strife, riot and rebellion and bring them to book.
“We should continue to live together as brothers and sisters,” Buhari said.
The president called on the new graduates to look beyond leaders who have failed themselves and the nation but choose their heroes from among those who believe in the progress of Nigeria and emulate those who are honest and work hard in their profession.
Buhari said there was need for the curriculum of Nigerian universities to be diversified to include entrepreneurial skills to help graduates to employ themselves and others after graduation.
He disclosed that as Federal Government efforts to improve on researches in the universities, government recently provided N3 billion for scholarly and high impact researches to universities through TETFund.
He said, “The nation will continue to look up to our universities for solutions to some of the challenges we facing today.”
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, University of Uyo, Prof. Enefiok Essien, said 32 students from the institution graduated with first class honours in the 24th Convocation.
Essien said that 4,539 graduands convoked today; 631 postgraduates, 3,678 undergraduates and 230 sub-degree.
The vice chancellor revealed that all the academic programmes of the university had received 100 per cent accreditation from the National University Commission (NUC).
He said the institution had strengthened its programmes and commenced new ones to improve on its standard.
“To improve standard, we have raised our Quality Assurance Directorate with the redesignation of the Head of Director.
” Institute of Health, Safety and Environment has been established, as well as a Centre for Deep Dialogue and Critical thinking Plan are also afoot to establish African Centre for Computational Intelligence Research (ACCIR),” he said.
Essien said that the university would continue to work hard to improve teaching, research and service delivery and improve its ranking both nationally and internationally.
The vice chancellor said that the university required more academic staff to meet with the current students ratio, stressing that funding remained the major challenge confronting the university.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highpoint of the ceremony was the posthumous award of honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine on Late Dr Ann Ward, who devoted 50 years of her life to saving lives in the Southern part the country.