By Ismail Kolapo
The spokesperson of the Upper Chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, Sen Sabi Abdullah has disclosed that the Hate Speech Bill that spelled death penalty for those convicted after thorough investigation on malicious statements on religion, ethnicity and nepotism in the country is not to withdraw Nigerians freedom of speech.
Senator Abdullahi disclosed this while featuring on a radio programme in Osogbo on Monday.
Senator Abdullahi said that, the Hate Speech Bill was not against the freedom of speech in the country but to curb the situation where many many lives were lost daily through hate speech that infuriates ethnic and religious crisis.
The Senate’s spokesperson who is the sponsor of the bill stated that the bill is just at the first reading level in the Upper Chamber and that its second reading will pave way for the bill which will drive out the nepotism in religion and ethnicity in Nigeria.
According him, “This hate speech bill is my personal contribution to national development and I see it as a responsibility for the constitution. Eleven people have since died of ethnicity and religious group violence and I sat down and looked at what has happened and I came up with the idea”.
“A lot of lives is lost, I thought we should look at it and this was what brought about this section, we have passed it for first reading because of the procedure.”
He stressed that the bill is also paramount to protect the citizenery and not that government is finding a means to cage them or trample upon their freedom of speech.
“Every citizen have right to life and right to have properties but people have lost their lives through the hate speech, ethnicity and religious crisis.”
“The people are criticizing the bill because of headline without going into the content of the bill. The bill is about malicious statement that can cause chaos through ethnicity and religious bigotry.”