The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the Hate Speech bill which passed the first reading at the Senate on Tuesday.
The party asked the National Assembly to protect the nation by throwing away the bill, which it described as obnoxious.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday, the PDP said it condemned in entirety, “the savage, repressive, cruel and murderous intents of the hate speech ‘prohibition’ bill, which seeks stringent punishment, including death by hanging as penalty.”
The statement read: “In as much as the PDP does not condone hate speech under any guise, our party rejects the bill as unconstitutional, undemocratic and a barbarous design targeted at official extermination of the voice of dissent and perceived opponents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
“The PDP notes that the nation already has enough constitutional provisions and extant laws to safeguard a sane and healthy public expression space and cannot allow such cruel law devised to victimize and persecute the citizens, ostensibly as a regime protection measure.
“Such laws can only find space in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Idi Amin’s Uganda and not in this era or in a democratic state such as Nigeria.
“The resurfacing of the cruel bill in the Senate, after Nigerians vehemently rejected it last year, only points to the incurable desperation of the APC-led Federal Government to suppress and crush the will of the citizens at all cost.
“The party pointed out that the provisions of the bill are deliberately hazy and nebulous with the malicious intention to victimize innocent Nigerians.”
PDP said the bill if allowed to pass would destroy the democratic order, strip constitutional provisions, the rights of citizens and usher in a full-blown “despotism in Nigeria.”
“The PDP challenges the proponents of the bill to start by condemning and setting penalties for those behind the “body bag” comments as well as the “baboon and the dog blood” narrative, which led to bloody unrest and the death of many innocent Nigerians.
“Our party, therefore, cautions the APC and its Federal Government to retrace their steps and withdraw the noxious bill.
“The PDP also charges the National Assembly to protect our nation by throwing away the bill and, if anything, use its legislative instruments to strengthen our institutions and authorities vested with the regulation of public expression in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” the party added.
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