Human rights crusader flays senate for proposing death sentence for hate speech offenders
* Says bill draconian, anti-press freedom
By Steve Oko
A human rights crusader and author, Comrade Paul Njoku, has condemned the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over a bill that proposes death sentence “by hanging” for the offenders of “hate speeches”.
The Clinical Psychologist said the bill was draconian and intended to suppress free speech and press freedom.
Recall that the controversial Bill, which was sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi is titled: “NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF HATE SPEECHES Bill 2019”, Tuesday passed its first reading.
The bill amongst other things, proposed “death by hanging” as punishment for anyone found culpable.
Njoku in a press statement accused the 9th Senate of ploting to “murder the freedom of expression and rights to hold opinions and free speeches as guaranteed in the Constitution”.
The statement made available to Wawa News Global read :”The 9th Senate is very clueless. They can not even make laws that would enhance the welfare of common Nigerians.
“They are stooges and set of rubber stamp legislators who are utterly hell bent to criminalise and murder the common freedom of expression and rights of Nigerians to hold public opinions and free speeches as guaranteed in the constitution under section 39 of the 1999 constitution.
“Why can’t they criminalise poverty and the miserable bad roads in Nigeria? Why can’t they criminalise Fulani killer herdsmen who are ruthlessly kidnapping and slaughtering Nigerians on daily basis?
“I am disappointed in Senator Aliyu Sabi, who was the spokesperson in the 8th Senate for proposing a death sentence “by hanging” any Nigerian who perhaps criticises the Buhari government or has a contrary view and opinion in the affairs of the APC-led Federal Government.
” Sharia kind of law can not be technically replicated or imposed on all Nigerians because Nigeria is nothing but a secular contraption.
“Hate speeches can not be determined and measured by the instrumentality of bigotry, emotions, sentiments and clueless perceptions?
“It is very sacrilegious to introduce such barbaric and inhuman bill in a supposed constitutional democracy where Nigerians are already traumatised by the intolerant and Next-Level government.
“The 9th Senate should be informed that section 39 of the 1999 Constitution guarantees “freedom of expression”. They should be educated that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees “freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”.
“They should be also advised that Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, also domesticated in Nigeria, reinforces this inalienable freedom that the 9th Senate is attempting to decimate and destroy. They should be educated that Nigeria is signatory to these international treaties, covenants and conventions.
“This obnoxious bill is dictatorial, ill-motivated and conceived to shut-up Nigerians. It is an anti-peoples’ bill. It is designed to further silence Nigerians and puncture the opposition, human rights activists, journalists, dissenters and genuine social critics who speak truth to power. The bill should therefore be aborted and completely buried”.Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.