Hate Speech Bill should be thrown out – PDP

PDP’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Hate Speech Prohibition Bill in the National Assembly, as “unconstitutional, undemocratic and a barbarous”.

The PDP said the bill seeking stringent punishment including death by hanging as penalty were deliberately hazy and nebulous with the malicious intention to victimize innocent Nigerians.

The party gave the rejection in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan said that the bill was targeted at official extermination of voice of dissent and perceived opposition.

He said that Nigeria already had enough constitutional provisions and extant laws to safeguard a sane and healthy public expression space, adding that such law could not find its way in Nigeria.

He recalled that the bill was rejected in the Senate in 2018, only for it to be reintroduced.

“Our party holds that if allowed to pass, the hate speech prohibition bill, with its savage provisions, would destroy our democratic order, strip our constitutional provisions, the rights of citizens and usher in a full-blown despotism in Nigeria.”

Ologbondiyan advised sponsors of the bill to retrace their steps and withdraw the bill.

“The PDP also charges the National Assembly to protect our nation by throwing away the bill.

“If anything, NASS should use its legislative instruments to strengthen our institutions and authorities vested with regulation of public expression in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended).”