A former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has described the proposed bills on social media and hate speech as the greatest threats to democracy and freedom of expression in the history of Nigeria.
He called on Nigerians to resist the bills, claiming that the proposed bills were attempts to silence the citizens, and to cage and break their ability to resist “tyranny and evil”.
Both bills are currently being considered at the Senate. While the social media bill has passed second reading, the hate speech bill has passed first reading.
But Fani-Kayode, in a statement on his Twitter handle, @realFFK, on Friday, said if Nigerians view the matter with indifference and the National Assembly passed the bills, Nigerians and generations to come would suffer the consequences.
He wrote, “The Social Media Bill and the Hate Speech Bill are the greatest threats to democracy and freedom of expression in the history of Nigeria. If the National Assembly makes the mistake of passing either or both of these two Bills Nigerians will suffer the consequences for many generations to come and human rights, liberty and freedom will be a thing of the past in our country.
“I would urge Nigerians not to view this matter with their usual indifference, complacency, docility, stoicism and lily-livered cowardice because the whole thing is an insidious attempt to silence their tongues, cage their spirits, capture their souls, break their ability to resist tyranny and evil and finally turn them into a nation of pliant little quislings, slaves and errand boys.
“What we are witnessing is the final and greatest manifestation of the fascistic, totalitarian and authoritarian state which, like Hitler’s Germany, is creeping up and hiding under the guise of democracy.
“Buhari and his friends want Nigeria to be like Stalin’s Soviet Union or, better still, like today’s North Korea and Saudi Arabia where dissent, opposition to the government, a plurality of views, variety of opinion, individual rights and criticism of government policy and the maximum dictator is forbidden and where total power is concentrated in the hands of just one man.
“This is the classic Orwellian nightmare and it is unfolding before our very eyes. If they get away with it and achieve their objectives Nigeria is finished and within a matter of years we will become the blight of Africa, the pariah of the Third World, the laughing stock of the international community and the world’s largest prison.
“What a terrible fate for a people that are so compliant, so trusting, so innovative, so resourceful, so resilient and so blessed.”
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