Tag Archives: hate speech

Hate speech bill: Nigeria deserves nothing less – Senator Sabi ..

Senator Sabi Abdullahi says there is no better time to have an anti-hate speech bill in Nigeria than now.

Reacting to rumours that the Hate Speech bill has been set aside due to the controversy it generated late 2019, Abdullahi, who sponsored the bill, disclosed that it is still alive.

The Niger State lawmaker expressed optimism that the bill will gain more support in days to come.

He noted that the death sentence penalty would be relaxed.

“Because the baby is dirty, we can’t say the baby should be thrown away with the bathwater,” Abdullahi told journalists at the Villa on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

“The death penalty was the main issue. I will ensure that the death penalty is put away from the bill.

“But Nigeria deserves to have a hate speech bill. There is so much hate speech in Nigeria. “

Abdullahi expressed fears that of there is no law to regulate hate speech, Nigeria runs the risk of becoming the next Rwanda.

The lawmaker who lamented the inciting speeches being made in Nigeria, added that they are capable of igniting religious, ethnic or communal crises.

Senator Sabi Abdullahi

“About 80-90 per cent of crises were incited through hate speech, be they religious, ethnic or communal crises,” he said.

The bill passed first reading on the floor of the Senate on November 12, 2019 amid criticisms.


Lai Mohammed, Brain behind ‘Hate speech bill’ – Sen. Francis.

Senator Francis Fadahunsi has made fresh allegations concerning the controversial hate speech bill being considered for passage into law by the National Assembly.

Though the hate speech bill is being sponsored by Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, representing Niger North, Senator Fadahunsi alleged that the minister of information and culture, Lai Muhammed, is the mastermind behind it, Vanguard reports.

Senator Fadahunsi who is representing Osun East at the Red Chamber said the bill was aimed at crippling quality journalism. He called on journalists and media practitioners generally to rise up against the bill and ensure it is not passed into law.

Fadahunsi reiterated that the bill came from the executive, adding that Senator Abdullahi only “front for the bill”.

Senator Francis Fadahunsi

“Senator Sabi Abdullahi only front for the bill, it actually originated from the executive, specifically, Lai Muhammed and the sole motive is just to box the media into a corner, where it would no longer have the vibrancy to question those in public offices.

“Every lover of democracy and rule of law must ensure that the hate speech is crushed no matter how it is introduced and the number of times it resurfaces in the National Assembly,” he added.


Lai Mohammed denies supporting ‘Hate speech bill’

...says no cause for alarm over our rising $84bn debt profile

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, says there is no cause for alarm over the country’s $84 billion debt profile.

The Minister said this at a press conference held today December 30th where he highlighted the administration’s major achievements in the year 2019.

There is currently a nationwide outrage over a $29.6 billion loan request President Buhari sent to the National Assembly. In his letter of request, President Buhari said the loan is “critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes”.

Reacting to the outrage, Lai Mohammed at the press confrence said

“There have been concerns in certain circles about the country’s growing debt, both domestic and external. In the process, there have been some misrepresentations and scare mongering. We therefore believe it is important to put things in the right perspective, so our citizens will be well informed.

The public debt stock is actually a cumulative figure of borrowings by successive governments over many years. It is therefore not appropriate to attribute the public debt stock to one administration.

Nigeria’s total public debt stock in 2015 was $63.80 billion, comprising $10.31 billion of external debt and $53.49 billion domestic debt. By June 2019, the total debt stock was $83.883 billion, made up of $27.163 billion of external debt and $56.720 billion domestic debt. It is therefore not correct to say that Nigeria’s external debt alone is $81.274 billion.

There is yet no cause for alarm. This is because Nigeria has a debt ceiling of 25% in the total public debt stock to Gross Domestic Product (Debt/GDP), which it has operated within. The ratio for Dec. 31 2018 and June 30 2019 were 19.09% and 18.99% respectively.

The debt service to revenue ratio has however been higher than desirable, hence the push by the government to diversify the economy and increase oil and non-oil revenues significantly. The government is also widening the tax base to capture more tax-paying citizens.”

Lai Mohammed also denied claims made by a member of the Nigerian Senate, Sen. Francis Fadahunsi, that he is the sponsor of the controversial Hate Speech bill. Fadahunsi in a recent media chat, alleged that Mohammed is behind the bill aimed at crippling quality and vibrant journalism. Reacting to the allegation, Mohammed said

Minister for culture, Lai Mohammed

You must have read the fake news attributed to Sen. Fadahunsi that I am behind the hate speech bill at the National Assembly, and that the senator who is sponsoring the bill is fronting for me. This is a typical example of the fake news we are trying to fight.

I am not the sponsor of the hate speech bill at the National Assembly. However, I remain committed to sanitising the social media. I have said that all stakeholders will be involved in determining the modalities for regulating the social media”.


Every president has cabal of advisers – Garba shehu.

…Insists plan to regulate social media not political

A media aide in the Presidency says that President Muhammadu having advisers around him is not unique to his administration, arguing that every President has a “cabal” of such advisers.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Press Corps at the weekend, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, said a lot of the people labelled as being part of a “cabal” in the Presidency’s “are successful people who are making extreme sacrifices to even be coming to serve government.

“Every President must have people who advise him. It is not a sin, it is not an offence to have people that you take into confidence,” Shehu said.

“What is the meaning of cabal? I just googled Thesaurus and among many other definitions, what they are saying is that cabal means “conspire, intrigues, mystique, occult, secret”. There is no government in this country that we have had that some people were not accused of being a cabal in that government, and it is because every administration, every President must have a secretariat.

“Elsewhere, they call it ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, but in our own country we are being derogatory and we term them the cabal so that it will tarnish their own good standing.

“In fact, for some of our elites, Buhari is a bad man because you cannot go to him and say give me oil well and he will sign paper and give you.

“So, we understand the game that is playing out and there is always a price, in any case, to pay for that kind of exposure. Even the President himself, the kind of things that are being said of him, if he did not offer himself to serve, some of those things, people would not even have the chance to say them against him. So, we will live with it, we will accept it because it goes with the territory,” he noted.

On the controversy about the plan to regulate social media, the President’s spokesman ruled out a political undertone, explained that “Social media has become a problem for many families because rights of women and children are being abused.

“There is a need to protect vulnerable members of the society. There is a need to protect minorities, whether tribal or religious, in our own country.

“So, it makes sense that you as media stakeholders come around the Minister of Information and Culture and formulate the kind of regulation you want so that it is not that there is top-bottom approach, so that government will not be accused of imposing a regulatory mechanism on the media.

“The Minister is saying come, sit down with me and let us talk about it. And I was told that the day he called on NUJ, they walked out on him. If that the report is true, I think it is very unfortunate. I think we need to come around him and offer media driven solutions so that at the end of it this, the country will have a vibrant and effective social media communication system.

“…It is the one that does not drive children to addiction and that also protects consumers of media content from harmful invasion either of our privacy of addiction for children of commercialism that are profit driven and are taking advantage of our own exposure to a mass communication system.

“I think I will be like to appeal that please give serious consideration to some of these elements and see how the media in the country can work together with government to find communication solutions to a purely communication problem.

“It is not political, the government has no reason to undermine or weaken the mass media… In a country where the mass media are being suppressed, where there is no freedom of expression and information, you find out that the media space tends to decline, it becomes smaller, media houses close down; but the Irony of what is happening in the country is that, while some civil society groups are crying here that freedom of expression is being threatened, we know why they were shouting because they are looking for donors abroad who will send in US dollars for the protection of Hate Speech. That basically it is a selfish thing,” he noted.


Nigerians now understanding the purpose of ‘Hate speech bill’ – Senate

…many now in support

Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, says the controversial hate speech bill is currently receiving massive support from Nigerians. The bill since its introduction into the red chambers, has faced stiff opposition from many Nigerians who believe it is a means to gag members of the opposition.

However in a statement released today, Abdullahi who is sponsoring the bill, says it has so far received massive support from Nigerians across the country.

“I can tell you that the bill is receiving strong support from Nigerians across the country. Notable personalities across various professions are beginning to speak out in support of the bill in the media. This is not to leave out some members of the academia that are rallying support for the bill’s passage by the National Assembly.” he said

He added that only those that are against the unity of Nigeria are against the hate speech bill.

“Like I have always stated, only those who are against the unity of Nigeria will oppose the bill by hiding under guise of protecting ‘Free Speech’. The Hate Speech Bill targets acts of discrimination and absolutely not Freedom of Speech as those with sinister motives who are opposed to the bill are trying to mislead Nigerians into believing. Before Nigeria is consumed by religious and ethnic violence, we must all rise to save the country from people using hate speech for personal gains.” his statement read


Actress Joke Silva speaks on Hate Sppech Bill.

…says, proper education should be conducted

Veteran Nollywood actress Joke Silva has said she is in support on the hate speech bill.

She disclosed this in an interview with The Nation.

She said “My view is that anything legal that will get us away from tribalism and religious intolerance is very much welcome.

I think what needs to be done is a proper education of the general public of what we feel it’s really about. I don’t think it is anything that will curtail our freedom of speech, but I think it is something that will support it.

I’m hoping that it will support our unity as a people and in doing that, we are getting rid of the things that people use to bring division amongst us and those things are ethnic intolerance and religious intolerance.”

Regarding the crashes of some Nollywood marriages, Joke Silva, who marked her 34th wedding anniversary with her husband, veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, on Wednesday, shared tips of what has sustained her marriage.

She said: “Well, I am not particularly sure that others are doing anything wrong or doing anything right. I just think that because we are in the entertainment industry, there is a lot of focus on us, so people think that there a lot of divorces in entertainment more than any other field.

I think I will rephrase the question and say, ‘What are the causes of breakup in marriages?’ I really don’t know but at the end of the day, it is always irreconcilable differences.”

Addressing married couples, she said: “First of all, I really don’t like advising people on their emotional journey because I’m not in their shoes.

I cannot speak for anybody but what I will say that worked for me was that I’m in a relationship with my friend. I got married to a good friend. We have had our ups and downs and we were very committed to learning about the journey right from the beginning.

And we’ve had some really tough times but somehow by God’s special grace, we’ve been able to get rid of these tough times and I think continuous wanting what is best for the other person.”


Alaafin of Oyo speaks on Hate speech bill, gives opinion different from FG’s death sentence.

The Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi has criticized the controversial hate speech bill which was re-introduced in the 9th senate by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.

Speaking at a book presentation which is part of the activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nigerian Tribune, the Alaafin of Oyo called on lawyers and lawmakers not to allow the bill which seeks to regulate and punish people who make unguarded statements to be passed into law.

The Oyo monarch wondered if an opinion contrary to that of the government is enough for one to be put to death. He added that a government official who doesn’t want to be criticized has no business with governance.

He said;

“If I have not killed anyone; and I give an opinion that is contrary to the government’s, will it be a sufficient reason for me to be charged for death penalty? Where are the lawyers in Nigeria? Constitutional lawyers in Nigeria, where are they? Can’t they speak up?”

NobleReporters culled that the Alaafin of Oyo also went down the memory lane to back up his claim on the need to defend free speech and right to education.

“My friend, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe has a peculiar character and I wish he could continue to learn about the constitutional lesson from Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his reply to Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. We have quotation and quotations from this literate man.

“During the Constitutional conferences that held in the 50s at Lancaster House, three giants from the country postulated different approaches to the Nigerian Independence. Sir Ahmadu Bello said North is for Northerners; East for Easterners and West for the Westerners. Azikiwe said, there should be one Constitution, one Country, one destiny.

“Awolowo rose up and said No!. We are not talking about the Constitution that will be suitable for Nigeria. But what is suitable for Nigeria is when you have a multi lingual, multi national and multi religious country with diverse races. That before independence the whole school we had on ground was 123 for the whole of the North while the South had 5,000 schools. There is no way. That illiterate will continue to govern the literate people. It cannot work and it will not work.

“Awolowo projected what will be the question of North-east, North-central. That of you don’t educate the people, the Almanjiri will become bandits. Today, in Zamfara and Yobe, the governments are now subjected to banditry. And they are exchanging these bandits, giving them money. How can government give bandits money? That is a collapse of governance and government.”

He also commented on the insecurity in the northern region of the country. The Alaafin of Oyo said;

“Just three days ago, Governor Ganduje said that Kano has the largest number of out of school children. How can we have stability in the country when half of the country are governed by illiterates? When banditry has taken over the governance? Surely there cannot be peace in the country. And tell me, Editors are here. When you said you have technically defeated Boko Haram, what is the technicality in defeat?

“Either we agree we have not been able to subdue them and admit it. Now, they are quoting United Nations figures for us. And our government is telling them we are not under America or UK but we are going there to loan money from them…”