Hate Speech Bill to go on despite opposition – Senator

Senator Abdullahi Sabi has insisted on going ahead to press for the passage of his controversial Hate Speech Bill by the National Assembly, despite opposition.

The bill had been overwhelmingly opposed by Nigerians at different levels due to the provision of the death penalty for would-be offenders.

But Sabi, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said the death penalty provision in the bill would be removed to allay fears of Nigerians over the bill.

The senator, who was part of a delegation of political and traditional leaders from Niger State that visited President Muhamadu Buhari on Tuesday, spoke to reporters at the Presidential Villa.

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“Because the baby is dirty, we can’t say the baby should be thrown away with the bathwater,” said Sabi.

“The death penalty was the main issue. I will ensure that the death penalty is put away from the bill.

“But Nigeria deserves to have a hate speech bill. There is so much hate speech in Nigeria,” he said.

The senator who represents Niger North Senatorial District warned that failure to regulate hate speech in Nigeria could make the country become the next Rwanda.

According to him, 80-90 per cent” of crises were “incited through hate speech, be they religious, ethnic or communal crises”.