The former senator who represented Anambra state Central zone at the upper legislative chamber, Senator Victor Umeh has kicked against the hate speech Bill before the National Assembly.
Senator who spoke with Daily Trust on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary of Bubendorf Grammar School Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha, described the bill as an attempt to gag Nigerians.
” I’m no longer in the senate, but if I am still in senate, I will oppose it because such a Bill is an attempt to gag Nigerians and deny them the freedom of speech. There is no clear definition of what constitutes hate speech,” he said.
He said the Bill even, if it eventually becomes law will not work because, it does not have comprehensive definition of hate speech.
“The hate speech is amorphous word and what constitutes hate speech is not clear. Is hate speech when somebody says government is not doing well, or when somebody complains about the actions of leaders, ” he asked.
According to him, the only thing that could remove hate speech in the system is when things are done properly, equitably and fair to all.
Umeh asked, Iif someone feels marginalised and neglected by the system and voices out his/her pains, will the person be charged for hate speech?
He said people tend to use harsh words on those in authority because they are aggrieved and have lost confidence in those in government, nobody can stop them from using harsh words.
Umeh said that people are using harsh words to heat up the system because they felt marginalised and neglected by the system.
Instead of sponsoring bill against free speech, he said, the senate should sponsor bill that makes every person to have a sense of belonging in the Nigeria’ enterprise, saying that when everybody is happy there would be no need for hate speech.