National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS), Oyo state chapter has condemned the hate speech bill currently under deliberation to be pass into law in the National Assembly.
In this modern age, the bill, which proposes a death penalty for offenders, is barbaric. We will suggest a bill should be passed on corruption in that wise instead, as this will in turn, help the administration of President Buhari in the fight against corruption.
Nigeria already has laws that made very tough provisions for hate speech which is the ‘Cybercrime Act’ amongst others, and currently, many people are being tried under this act. Hence, we stand against such a law which is restricting the citizen’s right to freedom of expression and we do not feel that there is a need for other laws to that effect.
Several journalists and individuals are currently standing trial under the aforementioned law; a good example is the Omoyele Sowore case, who, among other charges was arrested for insulting the President during an interview.
We stand against using the machinery of the government to harass citizens! As Student make up 50 of 100 percent of social media users and were prone to be indicted with this bill. Nigeria, as a nation, already has enough constitutional provisions and extant laws to ensure a sane and healthy public expression space.
Thus, we would not allow any cruel law devised to victimise and persecute our Student and the Nigerian citizens. Furthermore, we are totally against the passing of the law and if it does, we are ready to challenge it and Nigeria will be exposed to ridicule in the international scene.