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Senate under attack over anti-hate speech bill


The Senate under the leadership of Ahmed Lawan has been criticised over the hate speech bill sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi.

Bengbenronews had reported that Senator Sabi Abdullahi representing Niger North Senatorial district, on Tuesday sponsored a private bill to tackle hate speeches and other social media related contents, considered antagonistic to the interest of Nigerian society.

The lawmaker, who was Senate Spokesman in the 8th Senate and now Deputy Chief Whip, wants the National Assembly to establish a Commission with administrative structures to deal with hate speeches in Nigeria.

The bill titled: “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est., etc) bill, 2019 (SB. 154)” passed its first reading on Tuesday.

The introduction of hate speech bill has since been met with backlash from Nigerians and lawmakers.

Omokri, reacting, warned the Senate against passing the anti-hate speech bill.

According to him, “This law, if passed, will one day come back to haunt them.”

The former presidential spokesman on his Twitter page wrote: “They haven’t passed laws to hang killer herdsmen, they haven’t passed laws to hang Boko Haramist (they FREE ‘repentant’ Boko Haram)

“They haven’t passed laws to hang corrupt politicians but they want to pass a Bill to hang you for FREE SPEECH!

“If the Nigerian Senate bows to pressure and passes this anti hate speech bill, be it known to them that it was the law General Obasanjo’s government passed in 1976 that Abacha used to sentence Obj to death in 1995.

“This law, if passed, will one day come back to haunt them!”

Meanwhile, former president Atiku Abubakar described the hate speech bill sponsored by
Senator Sabi Abdullahi as an ‘abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

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