Ben Dunno, Warri
The National Vice President, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Kehinde Taiga, has urged Nigerians regardless of religious or political affiliation to come out en masse to protest the proposed passage of a controversial Hate Speech law by National Assembly.
Making this call at a press statement made available to reporters in Warri, the CDHR berated the Buhari administration for purportedly trying to silence opposition views and dissenting voices against his government.
The statement reads in part:
“It is sad and disappointing to see the way and manner the 8th Senate are going about with the conversial hate speech bill.
“It is important that our leaders must understand that criticism is part of what is needed in order for especially leaders public office are checkmated for any excesses.
“And that’s why they must be willing to take responsibility for their decisions today and after they all leave their positions.
“Leaders in this country must always be reminded that the position they are holding today doesn’t make them any better than the people they are leading.
“If a hate speech bill which advocates death by hanging has been passed some years ago, and we are to put into consideration what has been said in the past against previous government by some leaders in this present government, President Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Lai Mohammed would have been subjected to court trial for hate speech.
“We can all recollect how the President said he will make a governement ungovernable and the words that were attributed to Alhaji Lai Mohammed which I will like to quote and he said;
”A government that is unwilling to take responsibility for anything should not be counted upon. A government has a responsibility to protect its citizens and not engage in the blame game
“Now this President has finally owned up to his globally acknowledged incompetence. Never in the history of any nation has incompetence and cluelessness been exhibited by any leader as being exhibited today in this government.
“This government is running the country aground with a combination of incompetence and corruption. The fact of this government(sic) has nothing to do with ethnicity but a manifestation of incompetence, cluelessness and inferiority complex.
“I can confidently say that anybody who says this today will be charged for hate speech by this present government of President Mohammadu Buhari.
“That is why when you say you have the need to circumscribe people’s rights, you should also remember the past.
“The right to hold an opinion, make an opinion, is an inalienable fundamental right of every citizen of our country Nigeria and when persons who are used to making statements of such, shows up today and now says no you can’t do it, is confirming to you the high level of intolerance to critics and opposition in this present government.
“They easily forget that what goes around always come back around again.
“My people we must stand up against this executives rascality and high level of irresponsibility by this government.
“If hate speech is death by hanging, what will be the penalty of convicted Corrupt Politicians who are siphoning and draining our scarce resources on a daily basis.
“We say no to hate speech bill.”