I do not know exactly what the Senate intends to achieve with the proposed law on hate speech, but as one of the persons at whom the law is aimed, I have a responsibility to exercise caution. Offenders of the law shall be killed. It is as brutal as that. My parents are still much alive and I do not want to die or be killed before them.
With this, the need to be careful cannot be over-emphasized. The proposal by none other than the spokesman of the Senate, Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger State), has reportedly gone through first reading. It is a wild-cat command that takes away almost every freedom of the tongue. A hate speech offender shall be: “a person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and/or visual, which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.”