Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, has denied claims that the controversial Hate Speech bill that was recently introduced into the senate for deliberation and possible enactment, is meant to pave way for President Buhari’s alleged third term agenda.
Some Nigerians who have condemned the bill, alleged that it is a ploy by the APC -led government to silence anyone that will oppose President Buhari’s alleged third term agenda.
However at a news briefing in Abuja today November 18th, Abdullahi said the bill is designed to check what he described as an abuse of the nation’s “faultiness of ethnicity and religion” to cause crisis. He vowed to go ahead with the Bill because it is in line with his constitutional responsibility as a lawmaker to initiate and make legislation for the order and good governance of the country.
“For those who think their ludicrous assessment that the Hate Speech Bill is meant to give the current President Muhammadu Buhari a third term, it is not true.
For those shouting and using words that by every definition are Hate Speech, let them be guided. People said that the Bill is to prevent free speech. This is far from the truth. Very soon I will lead the debate for the Bill to be read a second time on floor of the Senate.
If you have never been a victim or your loved one has never been a victim of hate speech, then you have the luxury to talk the way you like. Many people have turned me into a monster and others have demonized me as the sponsor of the Hate Speech Bill but I am not moved.
In the course of my research on this matter, I discovered that Hate Speech has been used to silence so many people in this country. A country like Kenya has understood the dynamics of Hate Speech and they have taken action. I believe that this Bill is necessary and I am doing my duty as a lawmaker. I know I have tried my best. If tomorrow there is Hate Speech and there is violence, then I would have done my part,” Abdullahi said.
Also speaking to newsmen, the spokesperson of the 9th Senate, Akwashiki said there is nothing to fear about the proposed Hate Speech Bill.
“There is nothing for Nigerians to be afraid of. There is a process in the art of law making. The Bill will go for second reading where members will call for the removal of what they consider not right or for the addition of what they think should be there. Some people have made it political. I want to urge the press to educate the public about Hate Speech Bill,” Senator Akwashiki said.