The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned and rejected the Hate Speech Prohibition Bill in the National Assembly, seeking stringent punishment including death by hanging as a penalty.
The party gave the rejection in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that in as much as the PDP did not condone hate speech under any guise, it regarded the bill as “unconstitutional, undemocratic and a barbarous”.
He said that the provisions of the bill were deliberately hazy and nebulous with the malicious intention to victimise innocent Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan said that the bill was targeted at official extermination of the voice of dissent and perceived opposition.
He said that Nigeria already had enough constitutional provisions and extant laws to safeguard a sane and healthy public expression space, adding that such law could not find its way in Nigeria.
He recalled that the bill was rejected in the Senate in 2018, only for it to be reintroduced.
“Our party holds that if allowed to pass, the hate speech prohibition bill, with its savage provisions, would destroy our democratic order, strip our constitutional provisions, the rights of citizens and usher in a full-blown despotism in Nigeria.”
Ologbondiyan advised sponsors of the bill to retrace their steps and withdraw the bill.
“The PDP also charges the National Assembly to protect our nation by
throwing away the bill.
“If anything, NASS should use its legislative instruments to strengthen our institutions and authorities vested with the regulation of public expression in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended).”