he bill is backed by those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth because it breaches Nigerians’ right to freedom of information.

By the People's Bishop Kenneth Obi

The National Assembly and the Presidency have been working on a bill to criminalize hate speech across the country. This came barely a week after the Senate introduced another bill to regulate social media. One can only wonder if these leaders want to completely erode our freedom.

While people should truly not allow hate-filled conversations fueled by tribal or political sentiments, the Federal Government’s definition of hate speech has always been about ‘opposition or dissent.’ So, this bill means that whatever contradicts or criticizes the government may be considered hate speech.

The bill is backed by those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth because it breaches Nigerians’ right to freedom of information.

The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

More interesting is the fact that one of the senators sponsoring the social media bill, Elisha Abbo, was dragged over the internet this year after a video showing him assaulting a woman for no reason was made public online.

It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests. We must prioritize our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians.

There are more important issues affecting the population. Police brutality; corruption, wrongful or false arrests; poor laws governing electricity use; vague or weak labour laws, especially in the private sector amongst other challenges affect the average Nigerian more than what is said on social media.

Instead of our legislators to aggressively chase a law that can toss us back into the military era, a better bill to sponsor and discuss would be the one that would protect the rights of the average Nigerian and improve the quality of his life.

Such legislation like the social media bill only make Nigeria a laughing stock in front of the world. We can’t boast to be in a democracy or a place where there is rule of law, with all these anomalies in place. If the National Assembly continues its anti-people legislation at this pace, we may end up as a fascist nation by 2023.

The lawmakers have to put a stop to these actions that only make a joke of our democracy. Nigerians don’t want an authoritarian government, not before, and definitely, not now.

Following the burial of Mr Corruption March 23rd, 2019 by Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice (CRJ) which is the Best Way to Go fighting injustices and raising Anti Corruption Crusaders, pulling out the oxygen keeping Mr Corruption permanently dead for a Better Nigeria by enacting a bill that will make Corruption to carry death penalty in Nigeria and not a hate speech.

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The People's Bishop Kenneth Obi, Edo COGIC Prelate. Advocate of Humanity and Social Justice.

The People's Bishop Kenneth Obi, Edo COGIC Prelate and Chairman, Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice (CRJ) Imo State._
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