Bayo Oluwasanmi

 

Nigeria’s Senate is one of fools, blockheads, Ignoramuses, and idiots.

Yes, of course I know this description of Nigerian Senate by a Nigerian is offensive to some, maybe more than some people. Nonetheless, it is true. The Senate is made up of callous, indifferent, stupid fools, who keep silent in the face of tyranny while Nigerians are dying every day.

What do you expect from a Senate of fools, blockheads, ignoramuses, and idiots whose membership is made up of 99.99 per cent thieves, crooks, and rogues than to waste our resources on a bill that will make hate crime punishable by death.

The hate speech bill is resurrection of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ancient Decree 4. Buhari as military dictator was widely unpopular for his Decree 4. Decree 4 was a draconian piece of legislation that allowed Buhari and military leaders to imprison any journalist, who embarrassed them. The hate speech bill is a nebulous bill aimed at muzzling the press and civil society.

Let me remind the blockhead senators that there is no need for the hate speech bill because we have enough laws to deal with hate speech crimes. I invite them to read sections 59-60, 373-381 of the Criminal Code (applicable to the Southern states) and sections 391-40, 417-418 of the Penal Code (applicable in the Northern states). The Cyber Crime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 enacted by the National Assembly deals with the use of social media to promote bigotry and hatred in society.

The hate speech bill will restrict or abridge free speech of Nigerians. It’s a bill based on viewpoint, an egregious form of content discrimination, which is unconstitutional. The constitution does not entrust freedom of speech to the benevolence of Buhari or senators or any government official.

The hate speech bill sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Sabi Aliyu (Niger North) prescribes death by hanging for anyone found guilty of hate speech. The bill will create the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech. The bill passed first reading in the Senate on Tuesday.

If hate speech law was enacted between 2012 and 2014, President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that “blood of dogs and baboons will flow” after losing three presidential elections, would have earned him death sentence. Same goes for the Kaduna midget, who called for body bags for foreign observers during the 2015 elections. Lai Mohammed and other All Progressives Congress’ leaders would not have escaped the guillotine.

The campaign mounted by Buhari and senators to enact a law on hate speech is a deflection from serious national issues that cry for urgent solutions viz: restructure, job creation, security, hunger, healthcare, infrastructure, housing, criminal justice. And many more. The hate speech law won’t fly... bring it on!

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