BY OBUTE JAMES
The sponsor of the Anti-Hate Speech Bill Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) on Monday during a press conference said the bill he is sponsoring is private member bill aimed at maintaing peace.
He said he has also received threat messages from Nigerians since he introduced the bill on the floor of the Senate.
Abdullahi, a Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, said that the proposed bill was not meant to pave way for President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged third term agenda.
“In last 10 days since the bill scaled first reading in the Senate, I had received a lot of reactions from Nigerians including outright threats to my life.
“Although some of the people commended me, others were threats.
“Many people have turned me into a monster and others have demonized me as the sponsor of the Hate Speech Bill but I am not moved” Abdullahi said.
Contrary to perception in certain quarters, the lawmaker 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 however vowed to go ahead with the Bill, saying 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.
He maintained that “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.
Continuing, he bemoaned that many Nigerians who have criticised 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,” he said.
“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”