Prohibition of Hate Speech, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, has said that the
death penalty proposed for anyone found culpable will be amended by the
Senator Sabi in a statement on Sunday explained that the bill will be
fine-tuned to ensure that the clauses contained in its provisions to be
passed into law, reflect the views of Nigerians when it goes through
legislative input by the National Assembly.
The bill was read on the floor of the Senate on November 12 and Deputy
Chief Whip who sponsored the legislation stated that it will address the
dangers hate speech poses for the country.
The Bill defines the act of Hate speech as, a person who uses,
publishes, presents, produces, plays, provided, distributes and/or
directs the performance of any material, written and or visual which is
threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening,
abusive or insulting words or behaviour commits an offence if such
person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all
the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any
person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.
It adds that: Any person who commits an offence under this section shall
be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of
life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.
He added that contributions and inputs by critics and supporters of the
bill will be welcomed by the Senate.
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 an
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 fuelled so
many killings and violence, and is responsible for cases of depression
The lawmaker explained that the Independent National Commission for the
Prohibition of Hate Speech to be established will guard against every
act of discrimination against Nigerians by way of victimization.
The Commission, according to Abdullahi, will have an executive
chairperson, a secretary and twelve commissioners appointed through a
rigorous process involving the National Council of State, the President
and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria and the National Assembly.
“The overall concern is to curb violence and unnecessary loss of lives
and livelihoods of Nigerians due to hate-induced violence.”