Professor Wole Soyinka has said the hate bill under consideration in the National Assembly is aimed at ending criticisms of government officials by the people.
Speaking at the 'Ripples Nigeria Dialogue' event in Lagos, Soyinka condemned the insertion of death sentence as punishment for anyone found guilty of hate speech in the proposed law.
“The bill is to silence criticism and buy immunity so that their acts will not be exposed. This is coming at a time the world is trying to end the capital punishment”, Soyinka said.
The Nobel Laureate insisted that though he is not in support of hate speech, he does not also support the bill which he described as a move by members of the House because to stiffle opposition parties.
Soyinka, recounting times he has been a victim of hate speech said, “I received hate speeches and languages when I said I was not going to be part of the United States Community. I was cursed and received hate speeches and now you want me to condemn the hate speech.”
He further reiterated that he is not in support of the insertion of death sentence, while beckoning on the people to refrain from hateful comments.
“I don’t want anybody to be hanged, but I want them to be shamed. That is why I said I just want us to look in the mirror. I just want people to stop hate speeches”, he said.