Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, on Monday said that the proposed controversial Hate Speech Bill recently introduced by the Senate was not meant to pave way for President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged third term agenda.
Abdullahi who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, said the Bill is meant to check what he described as abuse of the nation’s “faultiness of ethnicity and religion” to cause crisis.
He vowed to go ahead with the Bill because it is in line with his constitutional responsibility as a lawmaker to initiate and make legislation for the order and good governance of the country.
“For those who think their ludicrous assessment that the Hate Speech Bill is meant to give the current President Muhammadu Buhari a third term, it is not true,” Abdullahi said.
Abdullahi lamented that many Nigerians who have decried the Bill merely ‘jumped the gun’ by reaching conclusions before reading the Bill.
“For those shouting and using words that by every definition are Hate Speech, let them be guided.
“People said that the Bill is to prevent free speech. This is far from the truth. Very soon I will lead the debate for the Bill to be read a second time on floor of the Senate,” Abdullahi added.
He said that in last 10 days since the Bill scaled first reading in the Senate, he had received a lot of reactions from Nigerians including outright “threats” to his life.
Also on Monday, the Acting spokesman of the Senate, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, described the Hate Speech Bill as a private member Bill which will be subjected to thorough scrutiny by the Senate in plenary during second reading.
Akwashiki added that, “there is nothing for Nigerians to be afraid of. There is a process in the art of law making. The Bill will go for second reading where members will call for the removal of what they consider not right or for the addition of what they think should be there.
“Some people have made it political. I want to urge the press to educate the public about Hate Speech Bill,” he concluded.