Rep rejects hate speech bill, says it’s invitation to anarchy

A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dachung Bagos, representing Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency of Plateau State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress(APC), has rejected the controversial Anti-Hate Speech Bill currently before the Senate.

The lawmaker who spoke to National Assembly correspondents in Abuja yesterday, said his rejection of the piece of legislation, was in line with the wish of his constituents.

He stressed that the Bill was in violation of the Constitution.

His words in part: “Having sworn to an oath to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended),

“I am herein guided and constraint to categorically and unequivocally state in strong terms, that I and my Constituents will not be a party to, nor grant consent to any proposed legislation that will compromise nor subvert the Fundamental Rights and Justiciable Rights of citizens

“as enshrined in Chapter VI of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) and in particular, Section 33 The right to life, also Section 39 (1) which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and the press which clearly states that,

“every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and import ideas and information without interference” and bearing in mind that the Constitution is the grand norm of Nigeria”.

He dismissed the Bill as cruel and unconstitutional.

“This approach is even more crocodile and draconian in nature seeing that death sentence, has been advocated for as penalty in the Hate Speech Bill.

“Thus, to endorse these bills is tantamount to taking our dear nation back to the days of anarchy and tyranny that deprives citizens of the right to freedom of expression and the press thereby reaping the citizens from the right to dignity of human person as provided for in Section 34 (1) (a)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended)”, he said.

He added that another Bill seeking to regulate the Social Media which is also before the Senate would meet similar fate.

Recall that the Anti-Hate Speech Bill standing in the name of Sen. Abdullahi Sabi (APC-Niger) sought a death sentence for ‘peddlers of hate speech’.

It was read for the second time, a few days ago, sparking anger across the world.

Anxiety over the Bill persists, a proposal by the sponsor to expunge the death-sentence clause in the piece of legislation, notwithstanding.

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