Senator Sabi Abdullahi, sponsor of the widely debated National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech bill has said.
The bill is currently on the floor of the National Assembly and has created lots of reactions across the country, particularly the death penalty clause, which Senator Abdullahi has promised will be amended by the senate.
Speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Senator Abdullahi explained that all the violence recorded in the country is preceded by hate speech and the bill when passed into law, will address the dangers hate speech poses for the country.
“I am still strongly convinced that the problem of hate speech is one that Nigeria must tackle. From what I have studied, both from a lot of scholars that have gone on the subject of violence in the country, there is a conclusion that almost all the violence is preceded by hate speech.
“Yes there may be a crisis between groups, but what will lead to violence is that somebody must have said something that is inciting to violence and that is how people who are innocent will fall victims, losing their lives and livelihood for no just cause because somebody somewhere is irresponsible enough to incite other people to that violence.
He added: “What is the cause of the violence? Hate speech is at the root of it. When we talk about hate speech, the issue of incitement comes in.”
The Senator urged Nigerians not to panic and detach emotional sentiments from the issue because the bill will reflect the views of Nigerians when it goes through legislative input by the National Assembly.
“Nigerians have agreed that there is a problem of hate speech, so the issue of agreement will come at the end of the day because the engagement process of the bill is still on and the beauty of democracy is that we are able to engage, have a conversation and talk through the issue whether good or bad and at the end of the day, if there is a consensus there will be room for action.”