The Senate on Monday declared that the ‘Hate Speech bill’ is a private member bill, and not sponsored by the Senate.
However, the sponsor of the bill, which has passed its first reading, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), said he will pursue the bill to its logical conclusion.
Speaking to newsmen during an interactive session at the National Assembly, Senate spokesman, Senator Godiya Akwashiki (APC, Nasarawa North), said the bill at the stage it is now, solely belongs to Senator Abdullahi.
He said like other bills, the merit or otherwise of its intendment, will be decided by the Senate during the stage of second reading.
He also made clarification that the bill has nothing to do with the Executive or any hidden agenda.
However, Sabi who also spoke in defence of the bill, said the issue of Hate Speech is posing threat to the country’s corporate existence, saying that was why he reintroduced the bill.
According to him, the bill, which he earlier sponsored during the 8th Senate but couldn’t push it further after its first reading due to political exigencies of the time, is aimed at stopping the blood-letting in the land promoted by hate speech
“The intendment of the bill is to provide a platform for dealing with those exploiting the two fault lines in the country .i.e, religion and ethnicity, to cause crises which often lead to loss of innocent lives.
“Available records clearly show that largest percentage of ethno-religious crises in the country within the last 15 to 20 years, were caused by hate speech with attendant loss of hundreds of innocent lives.
“This to me as a federal lawmaker should not be allowed to continue and the best way of doing this is to come up with appropriate law to arrest the ugly trend which the Anti-Hate Speech Bill is proposed to address,” he said.