Hate Speech Bill Designed To Protect Looters, Silence Dissenting Voices —COSEYL
COALITION OF SOUTH EAST YOUTH LEADERS (COSEYL) PRESS RELEASE
We condemn in strongest terms the proposed Hate speech bill by Senator Sabi Abdullahi were the said bill proposed ” death penalty , life jail , and a five years imprisonment depending on the degree of the hate speech and an option of a N10 million fine for offenders”. Such outrageous fine can only be paid by corrupt political office holders or corrupt government contractors who has detarded the country from making progress.
It is true that hate speech has done alot of damage to our country. So many lives and properties have been lost and destroyed via hate speech made by political and Religious Leaders. It is very pertinent we stop hate speech, but not the one being proposed by Senator Abdullahi , Senator representing Niger North Senatorial District.
It is indeed laudable to propose such a draconian bill in this 21st century when other nations of the world are making vital laws that will promote wealth and industrialization of their countries.
It is evidently clear that the promoters of the proposed Hate Speech Bill , packaged it to protect themselves from being challenged or questioned by Nigerians for corruption and looting of our collective wealth. Anyone that dares to speak-out against their corrupt practices will be arrested for hate speech. He or she will be jailed for life or killed as the case maybe.
Vibrant media houses, the opposition members, dissenting voices , and Civil society organizations will be targeted for saying the truth about matters concerning the country. Abdullahi proposed bill is to maintain the status quo.
This is the first Bill our senators are so interested in and in a hurry to pass because it will protect them from critics and probe because anything you say against them is judge as “Hate Speech”.
The Senators should stop wasting its time and Nigerian resources by deliberating on this anti-people bill that is dead-on-arrival. We already have adequate laws that will take care of hate speech.
The major problem and cankerworm that has kept this country from progress and development is corruption. If our senators are sincere about serving the people, the should pass a law that stipulates Capital punishment– death by hanging — for public office holders found guilty of corruption. This law if passed will bring about rapid development , progress and economic advancement in the country.
This Hate Bill is designed to serve the interest of the ruling class and institutions which by their sharp practices and disdain policies have watered the ground for hate speech.
Corruption is the crime after killing, armed robbery and terrorism that offenders deserve death by hanging. Corruption is a crime committed by one man that affects the entire citizens in the country. Corruption begat other crimes. It is the foundation through which other crimes and social vices are committed.
So many lives have been lost on our roads because some persons embezzled the money meant for the construction of our roads. Every year, over 50,000 persons die on our roads through accidents caused by bad roads. People are robbed daily on bad spot on our roads. Time will fail us to elucidate the ills caused by corruption.
If the National Assembly wants to convince Nigerians that elected them that they truly represent them and mean well for the development and advancement of this country, let them initiate a bill that stipulates death by hanging for any public office holder that collects constituency funds and divert the funds for personal use, collect bribe in whatever guise, collect extra-gratia during oversight duties, and pads the budget. Let them criminalize the hijack of Jobs in ministries and parastatals by privileged few.
It is corruption and not hate speech , that makes a government contractor that is awarded a road contract to abscond with the money he or she has received without going to the site, and without anyone asking questions, especially the National Assembly that is saddled with the responsibility of oversight functions.
It is not hate speech that makes Nigerians fight and kill one another; it is corruption, poor governance, abject poverty caused by looting, embezzlement of public funds, divide and rule by the political class in their attempt to perpetually remain in power.
If there is hate speech in this country, it is an attempt by the people to complain against bad policies, injustice in the system, skewed and discriminatory policies, which favour one race , religion or a particular ethnic group in terms of appointments, distribution of resources and infrastructure and government appointments. It is this one-sided allocation of our collective wealth that the so-called authors of hate speech speak against.
After destroying our public schools and hospitals , our political leaders send their children to study overseas and they travel to developed countries for better medical treatment abandoning the ordinary Nigerians here to their own fate. After embezzling funds meant for road constructions, our so-called political leaders fly on air. What a wickedness.
If the Senators are sincere to win the war against hate speech, the must as a matter of urgency address these hurdles that Nigerian citizens face on daily basis. That is the only way we can overcome the war against hate speech in Nigeria.
Chief Goodluck Egwu Ibem
Hon. Ernest Nmong
Deputy Publicity Secretary