NIGERIA – The Youth Wing of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South-East zone on Thursday threatened to resist the proposed Hate Speech Bill.
The Youths alleged that the bill was a ploy by the All Progressives Congress, APC, led Federal government to suppress the opposition parties and Nigerians from speaking against the ills of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The leader of the Youths in the zone, Comrade Chidiebere Egwu accused President Buhari and other APC leaders of initiating and exacerbating Hate Speech, a tool he alleged was used to oust former President Goodluck Jonathan out of office.
Egwu who spoke to journalists in Abakaliki noted that the reintroduction of the bill was unfortunate and unnecessary as it will negatively affect the constitutional rights of citizens.
Recall that the bill which was sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Abdullahi, is currently on the floor of the Senate and prescribes death penalty for anyone found guilty of spreading any falsehood that could lead to the death of another person.
Egwu noted that hate speech was the propaganda machinery of the APC Government to put Nigerians against the administration of the Jonathan’s Presidency and now that they have reneged on their promises, they want to gag divergent opinions against the APC Government.
“The reintroduction of the hate speech bill was anti-democratic, unconstitutional and futile exercise. If hate speech was enacted by Jonathan’s Presidency, Buhari and other APC leaders would have been victims of the death penalty.
The present APC administration benefitted from hate speech.
“In 2012 and 2014, APC Leaders warned that if Former President Jonathan won, they will form a parallel government, was that a reasonable statement? When President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly said that baboons and monkeys will soak in blood if the 2015 election was rigged, was that not a hate speech.
“The APC leaders abused Jonathan and reduced him to shreds to get to power, and now they don’t want Nigerians to express their opinions. We can’t allow that to happen. The South East Youths will continue to speak out for the betterment of our country.
“The major victims of the proposed bill were the youths. They don’t want us to speak about the insecurity; they don’t want us to expose their massive corruption; they don’t want us to speak about the bad roads, failing healthcare, poor education standard. The APC Government doesn’t Nigerians to speak against the surging unemployment of our Youths” he stated.
Egwu further urged the National Assembly to consider the numerous negative implications of the bill and discard it in the interest of national unity, peace and sustenance of the Democratic