The Nigerian Government has initiated a bill to punish perpetrators of hate speech, says Abdulrahaman Dambazau, minister of interior. The retired general told journalists the draft bill had been submitted to the Ministry of Justice.
“I just submitted a draft bill to Ministry of Justice on hate speech. That draft bill is supposed to go as an Executive Bill after vetting by the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. So that draft bill contains the laws and punishment for hate speech. Hate speech should not be allowed in this country. If the National Assembly passes that bill, anybody engaged in hate speech will be prosecuted according to the law” he said.
Recently, John Odiegie Oyegun, national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, blamed the ascendancy of hate speeches in the country on the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which the latter denied. The PDP however said the APC was the harbinger of hate speech in the country.
Earlier in July, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said the hate speech phenomenon was a deliberate vicious campaign aimed at discrediting the government.
”The campaign (to discredit the government) is a multi-million naira project and the people behind this string of hate speech, disinformation and fake news are not about to stop. In fact, they will become more vicious in the days, weeks and months ahead,” Mohammed said at the Extra-ordinary Meeting of the National Council on Information (NCI), held in Jos, Plateau State.