The very controversial Hate speech bill is chugging along merrily in the lawmaking houses of Nigeria and could become a reality sooner, rather than later.
This is not to say that Nigerians haven’t kicked against it with many taking to social media to speak out against it, pointing out that it is a muzzle against people speaking against the government or having free speech.
The senator responsible for the bill, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, has taken a step back from his proposition of the death penalty.
He did state that he believes that the rate of suicide and depression has increased in Nigeria due to hate speech but that he has seen from the arguments against the hate speech bill that the death penalty might be a step too far.
“We have followed closely arguments for and against the hate speech bill, and seen the reason why some kicked against it.
“Given the high respect which we have for Nigerians, we will make amendment to the death penalty aspect that most Nigerians objected to, so that a bill that meets their expectations is passed into law.
“Clearly from the conversations, Nigerians agree that we have a problem in the society today as a result of hate speech which has fueled so many killings and violence, and is responsible for cases of depression and suicides.”
Sabi also clarified how he intends for the law to be implemented stating that he wants the establishment of an Independent National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech to not include current lawmakers.
“The overall concern is to curb violence and unnecessary loss of lives and livelihoods of Nigerians due to hate-induced violence,” he said.
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