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People Are Ignorant Of Trouble That Looms If Hate Speech Is Not Passed – Abdullahi

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The senator representing Niger North, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, has accused the negators of the hate speech bill of been ignorant of the dangers that loom if the bill is not passed into law.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate stated that those against the bill are only pretending to protect freedom of speech by misinforming Nigerians on the bill before the Senate.

The Senator sponsoring the bill warned Nigerians to beware of “false information being spilled out by some persons and groups parading themselves as serving the interest of the nation”.

Senator Abdullahi while speaking on the report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on ‘Overcoming Dangerous Speech and Endemic Religious Divides in Central Nigeria’, said persons with strong bias capable of escalating ethnic and religious violence.

He claimed that the bill would put an end to the desire of such individuals that depend on using ethnic and religious bias for the realization of self-serving interests.

“Both Christians and Muslims have said that the media blatantly expresses bias against their religion, and that journalists will deliberately not report their story or perspective.”

“Outside the immediate communities affected by a specific incident, the general public’s understanding of violent events is often incomplete.”

“In some cases, false news about attacks have incited the people to undertake revenge attacks in various parts of the country,” the lawmaker quoted the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report as saying.

Abdullahi will speaking on the report by the Centre for Information Technology and Development, noted that the Hate Speech is responsible for high cases of violence and killing.

CITAD in its report said, “In 2017, Nigeria experienced the continuation of three major conflicts that provided a fertile ground for the propagation of hate speech.”

“These were the resurgence of the Biafra Agitation in the South East, the clash between the Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly referred to as the Shiites Movement in the North West, and the transformation of the localized farmers-herders conflict and cattle rustling to the large scale rural banditry that had taken an ethno-religious character across much of the North West and North Central zones of the country.”

“Across the country, scores of people were killed as a result of these conflicts, further providing fuel for the wildfire of hate speech.”

The group pointed to how hate speech has become widely used in the public discourse and communication.

“They are a dynamic that weakened national cohesion and made it difficult for the country to collectively address the threat to peace that affected the population in the country.”

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman

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