The 2019 Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has warned the promoters of anti-hate speech bill to think twice as they might be shrinking the democratic space.
The the anti-hate speech bill which proposes death by hanging for those found guilty of such and establishment of a commission for the prohibition of hate speech in the country, passed its first reading on Tuesday November 12.
Atiku who reacted to the development in a statement released by his spokesperson Paul Ibe, stated that the contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.
“The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech,” he said.
“Atiku urges those behind this Bill to awake to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy has survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms.
“It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.”
Atiku pointed out that Nigeria is facing numerous challenges and also urged the lawmakers to channel their energy into finding solutions to make the country better.
“Again, Atiku cautions that we must prioritise our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians,” the statement added.