Joe Effiong, Uyo
The National Legal Adviser of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, has described the Hate Speech bill being proposed by the National Assembly as criminal and an insult to the image of the country.
Speaking to reporters yesterday in Uyo on the issue, Mr Enoidem said the bill, which critics fear will gag freedom of speech in the country, is damaging to the country.
He likened the bill to Decree 4 enacted by the military government of Muhammadu Buhari, as head of state in the early 80s, saying the provisions of the bill will impact negatively on Nigeria.
He urged the press to rise up against it, saying if the bill becomes law, the press will be its first victim.
Enoidem alleged that the bill was a strategy to Islamise Nigeria and make President Muhammadu Buhari return to rule the country for a third term.
He explained that the N100 billion which the Federal Government gave to the Miyetti Allah was a subtle plan to initiate the islamization of the country through the acquisition of lands.
Enoidem noted that the money given to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) is to be used to revive the failed RUGA (Rural Grazing Areas) policy of the Federal Government, adding that prospectors have already started scouting the country to acquire large expanses of lands under the pretense of building hospitals and other infrastructure.
“The Hate Speech bill being considered by the National Assembly… is very negative in intention, it is criminal in action,” he said.
“This is akin to Decree 4. But if you look at Decree 4 and compare it to the provision of the proposed bill, you will know that it has more negative provision than the one proposed by the military.
“Who defines what is Hate Speech? If the press keeps quiet about it, they would become the first victim. It is better we stand up and speak against this evil that is coming. The bill is very insulting to the common conscience of the country, it is very insulting to the image of the country, and is very damaging to all of us. We need to stand up and speak against it as a people.
“This bill has two major focus in view: It is going to be a major instrument if Buhari fails to translate himself into a 3rd term [President]. Because that proposal is in the mill, he will use it as a religious weapon against those who will come against the Islamisation of Nigeria. You don’t have to believe it, but it will happen,” Enoidem said.
“The RUGA project that was stood down is being reactivated in a very subtle manner. They have some vendors now who go about acquiring land because the Federal Government has given Miyetti Allah N100 billion but they are still insisting on the remaining N50 billion, because they demanded for N150 billion. That money is for them to buy land privately in different locations in the country, now that is a penetration strategy.
“As I talk to you, even in Akwa Ibom, the vendors are here to acquire land in pretense that they want to build hospitals, etc. Eventually, the Hausas will come and settle there, colonise the place and make the place a Northern enclave.
“This law that they have proposed was supposed to come as an executive bill but they brought in somebody to sponsor it for them as a private bill, because they know that if it comes as an executive bill, the intention will be seen through,” he stated.