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STILL ON HATE SPEECH CRIMINALISATION By Bayonle Olanisimi

Written by Bada Yusuf Amoo

The fabrication of ‘hate speech’ by Nigerian politicians and the attempt to adopt same to be synonymous with any locution that may put them on the edge is nothing but a mischievous plot to stir up the water of confusion in the country. In truth, the Nigerian masses must not only see this as a mere vice for seeking self relevance by the proponents but a designation to put their critics to silence. It is a stark demonstration of their desperations to bully the grumbling masses to mortal trepidation. The politicians who mostly have skeletons in their cupboards are afraid of the prowess showcased by the Nigerian populace in utilising the Internet as solace to air their disappointments about the failure of the leaders to the whole world.
Now, it is time to tell whoever is behind the game of criminalising this hate speech of a thing that their intention is to run the ship of this country aground. Nigerians can now see through them because the people are wiser: they are more conscientised than the so-called leaders who are fast becoming anachronistic. If not for the display of their anachronism, how could ‘elder statesmen ‘ come about the idea of enacting death sentence as a punishment for violating a dogma called hate speech? I wonder how this is going to hold water in a sane legislative house where the tenet of right of speech is held sacrosanct.
Presenting a bill like this at the National Assembly portrays the legislators as unserious minds. Nothing on earth is so nebulous as much as finding a meaning to the concept of hate speech as conceived by the politicians. Narrowing down the meaning to linguistic, social or religious scope would never make it less controversial nor less ambiguous. Therefore, the Herculean task before the legislators supporting the hate speech bill would be how to relate it with our ideals and beliefs. The question is how would they make our predominantly divisive society understand the arguments they might put up to justify the proposed extreme punishment attached to violating the so-called hate speech?

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo

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