Well, some of us aren’t worried about the proposed legislation to implement the hate speech bill but our concern is to protect one of the fundamental human right of the constitution, section 39 says every Nigerian is entitled to freedom of expression in the country.
Regardless of the ongoing debates on freedom of speech, hate speech and hate speech legislation, I want to say Nigeria doesn’t need to implement a hate speech bill to regulate or imbibe a culture on its citizens. It won’t provide solution to one third of the mess our government has found itself but rather this kind of speech bill will only aim to attack a person or a group on the basis of protected attributes such as race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sex, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Its already a minus to us that Nigeria, as a country is liken to an eye of a needle that has permitted and encouraged fraudulent acts, corrupt practices etc. By those in government despite having a little passage.
Our leaders effort to implement the hate speech bill simply replacing justice with fat lies. The masses opinions about their government to the governed are now considered as threat since we all have right to express ourselves about what we think is right and wrong.
But, we should not forget the meaning of the word “Democracy “, which means government of the people the people and for the people. “Political participation” which connotes that every citizen from the age of 18 should exercise voting right. It not longer news that the Nigerian voter has been taken for granted the political class. Promises of good governance are never kept.
Let me say, many Nigerians are yet to understand that hate speech are referred to speech, gestures, conduct, writing or displays that incite violence or prejudicial actions against a group or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group or which disparage or intimidate a group or individuals on the basis of their membership in the group.
Nigerian lawmakers are divided on this controversial bill aimed at addressing hate speech in the country.
One of the senators said he sponsored the bill on his own volition and he won’t drop it because he has reasons for bringing it up.
Despite the public outcry against the proposed legislation aimed at addressing social media and addressing Hate Speech in Nigeria, sponsors of the bills, senators Sani Musa and Sabi Abdullahi have insisted on pushing for the bill.
In an interview with Punch, All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers from Niger State said the bill is meant to serve the overall interest of Nigerians.
Earlier, the People Democratic Party (PDP) condemned the Hate Speech Bill describing it as “unconstitutional, undemocratic and a barbarous.”
The party in a statement on Wednesday, November 13, said the provisions of the bill are deliberately hazy and nebulous with the malicious intention to victimize innocent Nigerians. I attest to that strongly. – Justina Barde
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