proposed death penalty for hate speech outrageous - APC chieftain




By Pita Chib, Minna


 former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism , in Niger State, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa  on Thursday joined thousands of Nigerians to condemned the proposed Senate bill seeking death penalty for anyone convicted for hate speech.

He described such move as not only laughable but a direct invitation for anarchy.

Vatsa former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state queried why the APC controlled Senate should ever contemplate such a "draconian and unpopular law" when the same party rides on hate speech to get power in 2015.

According to vatsa, "we (APC) brought hate speech to Nigeria politics and I am one of them, as a Publicity Secretary of APC, I know how we use hate  speech to mobilize Nigerians against the ruling party, and it paid off because Nigerians hated PDP.

"Before 2015, Nigerians did not know anything like hate speech. In fact since the return of democracy in 1999, we are just hearing about hate speech. APC as a political party brought hate to politics in form of propaganda.

"The truth must be told, we are the architect of hate speech and nobody complained about it, we enjoyed it and it worked for us.

"If we think we have failed Nigerians in our change promises, we should be bold enough to tell Nigerians that we are sorry, we couldn't deliver, but to try to cage them by trying to introduce or recycle Decree 4 of 1984 in the name of hate speech is unacceptable".

He therefore  warned the senate, saying that the proposed bill for death penalty for hate speech is a direct invitation to anarchy "which if care is not taken might consumed all of us".

Vatsa said rather than proposing death penalty for hate speech offenders, it should be death penalty for corrupt leaders in this country because "corruption and injustice gave birth to what they are now calling hate speech"

"If there is justice, equity, fairness and respect for rule of law, there will be no hate speech. But when people are been marginalized and denied their right, surely there will be hate speech. You can not stop people from expressing their freedom of speech.

"If the Senate is proposing death penalty for hate speech, then what will they do to Boko Haram, arm Bandits, kidnappers, oil bunkers and treasury looters both politicians and civil servants. All these things are worst than hate speech".

"There are more pressing issues to Nigerians that the senate should look into and address instead of wasting their energy on an unpopular bill like this one that will not see the light of the day".

He however believed that there are more to the proposed hate speech bill, adding that "if the rumor of President Buhari nursing the ambition of third term is correct, then they need death penalty for hate speech to silence everybody who will want to oppose him.

"But the Senate should know that he who lives in a glass house should not throw stone because they can not be there for ever. When they leave the senate the law can catch up with them".

"Again If the money meant for constituency projects are utilized for the purpose it was meant for and the people began to see dividends of democracy there will be need for hate speech.

"If the millions of Nigerians youths can have something to do to earn a living, they will not have time for hate speech, if people are allowed to elect their leaders in a free and fair election there will be no hate speech, so something gave birth to hate speech and that is what the senate should address".

End

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