A human right lawyer, Barr. Monday Ubani has urged the National Assembly to immediately throw out the Hate Speech and Fake News Bill Now currently before it, saying passing such Bill will further dent the image of the government.
Barr. Ubani a former Vice Chairman on NBA spoke at the background of a townhall meeting held in Abuja on hate speech by Daar Communications PLC, which had in attendance the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and other lawmakers.
He took a swipe at the sponsor of the Bill, Sabi Abdullahi for allegedly lying that hate speech Bill has caused many deaths in the country, pointing out that records from global organizations prove otherwise.
“The Sponsors of the two bills that have their objective of curtailing freedom of speech in Nigeria were given time to advance reasons for those bills at this time as a Nation. I must tell you the truth, I was totally disappointed.
“They were pedestrian in their presentation and evidenced their veiled intention to discourage Nigerians from querying the present government through social media.
“Not only were they giving wrong reasons for the bills, they also lied that many lives have been lost in Nigeria due the so called Hate Speech and Fake News in Nigeria.
Statistics of death which occurred for some years caused by criminals in NIGERIA were released recently by one of the international bodies. The main cause of those deaths as shown in the report were attributed to Herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents over the years. At no time was the cause of death attributed to the so called hate speech or fake news carriers in NIGERIA” he said.
While alleging that the Bill is targeted at curtailing press freedom and shield the government from criticism, Barr. Ubani revealed that there are sufficient laws in the country to take care of any infraction of our laws in the social media.
“FOR their information, WE made a choice BY PREFERRING DEMOCRACY to DICTATORSHIP since 1999” he concluded.