A senator representing Niger North Senatorial District, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, has defended the ‘infamous’ hate speech bill claiming hate speech has instigated crisis causing death and wanton destruction of properties before and now in Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, he said there have been a mischievous report about hate speech bill which he sponsored and passed the first reading by elements who have not read the contents of the bill.
Sabi said he had sponsored the bill in the 8th Senate before it lapsed with that session, noting that this time was appropriate for the bill to be debated in the Senate.
“Unfortunately, there are mischievous reports about hate speech bill which I sponsored on the floor of the Senate on the 12th of November, 2018.
“Unknown to some people, I actually sponsored that bill in the 8th Senate which the atmosphere was not right at that time because it clashed with campaign time.
“Between that time and now, I have listened attentively and has read copiously all reactions and comments by highly respected Nigerians and they have been very erroneous in their submission.
“In sponsoring that bill, I did that sincerely and without any mischief to ensure that there is order and good governance in Nigeria.
Making clarification on the death by hanging as envisaged by the bill, the Deputy Chief Whip explained that Nigerians should not be scared, noting that the contents of the bill would be subjected to the public scrutiny during public hearing.
He said, “if it failed during public hearing, I will abide by it, adding that he has enough reasons to pursue the bill.
Nigeria is not the only country to establish laws on hate speech. At the last count, there are about 20 countries across the world that have laws on hate speeches with Canada having a robust laws.