The Nigerian government is considering passing a bill that will punish anyone found guilty of hate speech with death by hanging. Now, we are all aware of the fact that offensive and hateful speech does exist in Nigeria. It is also no news that it has become worse, primarily through social media platforms. Nonetheless, is the death penalty not too much? Why is it even considered for this?
Come to think of it, death by hanging was a capital punishment that existed in Nigeria for offences like murder, armed robbery and treason until 2015, when the lethal injection was also introduced in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
As defined by the bill; hate speech is when one “uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to commit an offence.”
However, during a recent interview, the Senator who sponsored the bill, Aliyu Abdullahi, confirmed that the part of the bill dealing with the death sentence could be removed. This is not even a guarantee. Even more, it will not change the fact that this bill will have a lot of severe impacts in the country; let’s face it. Even more, if this bill is passed, an agency may be created to help the execution of the policy. What a shame? This country and her leaders need to learn how to identify their problems.
Now, I would like to share my thoughts and opinions on the bill. First, I think this bill is a scam. The Nigerian government would use anything to silence the voice of their citizens to continue their evil deeds. Even our Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka believes the bill seeks to silence the voice of criticism. Think about it? For a country full of corruption, injustice, unemployment, poverty, evil and wickedness, this is one of the ways the government could get the citizens off their case because of their incompetence.
Why can’t our government invest their time in providing gainful employment for their youth? How about the educational and health system in Nigeria? Security seems to be a significant issue in the country, what is the government doing about it. Talk about the poor infrastructures and lack of basic amenities, high rate of poverty, crime and terrorism.
Tell me, aren’t these more important issues to address other than this bill considering the state of the country. Let’s be real? How does this improve the country and the image of the country? What difference will it make?
I feel the political leaders of Nigeria aren’t addressing fundamental important pressing issues in the country; instead, they are looking for means to eliminate citizens from getting at them. Only God knows where this country is headed. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions as usual. I look forward to reading them. Have a great day ahead!