By Ephraim Oseji
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has appealed to members of Nigeria Senate to halt further deliberation on the hate speech Bill for the interest of generality of people and peaceful co-existence of the Nation.
Onuesoke who condemned the hate speech Bill while addressing newsmen in Lagos said the Bill which had passed its first reading in the floor of the Senate should be aborted and killed as a malformed embryo at its second reading gestation stage before it is allowed to be delivered as a societal monster.
Describing the Bill as a ridiculous machinery of oppression, intimidation and suppression of the masses argued that it is amazing that the Senate had not passed a Bill to hang killer kidnappers,rapist, political thuggery, they have not passed a Bill to hang corrupt politicians, but they want to pass a Bill to hang the people for speaking against oppression.
“How possible can any government control people from speaking out on how they literally feel inside. You cannot be beating up a child and at the same time sealing up his mouth not to cry, that would amounts to an abuse, wickedness, and incivility,” he stated.
Onuesoke queried why must there be a new agency for hate speech when there are many agencies that are not productive under the information ministry to sensitize the people and the police to enforce the laws?
He warned that if the Senate bows to pressure and passes the hate speech Bill, it should be known to them that it was the law General Obasanjo’s government passed in 1976 that Abacha used to sentence him to death on trumped up charges of treason.
Onuesoke maintained that this draconian law, if passed, will one day come back to haunt them.
“ What would constitute a hate speech? Will your definition of hate speech amounts that those in power will do or say whatever they want to do or say and no one will speaks about it or call it out?
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“Will the law against hate speech amounts that all the Hausas in the north who call the Igbos iyamiri-Banza everyday be arrested and prosecuted? Or will the definition of hate speech amounts to the arrest of citizens who call their federal and States leaders that are embezzling the public funds thieves?