Jerry Howard, the Political Officer of the Embassy of the United States of America, has praised the Hate Speech Bill, describing it as impressive.
He said it was necessary to have such law in place to address the issues of hostility, violence and discrimination in the country.
Howard, according to a statement released by the media office of Senator Sabi Abdullahi, the sponsor of the bill, said this on Tuesday during a meeting with him at the National Assembly, Abuja.
According to the United States Embassy official, the visit was intended to engage Sabi Abdullahi and to seek an understanding of the proposed legislation under consideration by the Senate. He said the media had not done a proper job of informing the populace of the true meaning of the bill.
He, therefore, advised the sponsor of the bill to engage and educate non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations in the country on its proposed contents so as to muster support for it.
“I’m very impressed with the research you’ve done on the bill. The media has had a field day with this, really.
“You’ve thought it through. I was depending on the media for my education, and it was very misleading. You’ve done your research and it is very interesting.
“But you have a difficult job selling this to the NGOs, CSOs. You need to talk to them. You’ll need to talk to civil society organisations, you need to educate them.
“You’ve educated me,” Howard said after Senator Abdullahi explained the contents of the bill to him,” Howard said.