Hate Speech Is The Root Cause Of Violence, Says Senator Abdullahi


Hate speech has been attributed to the root cause of violence across the country.

Senator Sabi Abdullahi, sponsor of the widely debated National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech bill has said.

The bill is currently on the floor of the National Assembly and has created lots of reactions across the country, particularly the death penalty clause, which Senator Abdullahi has promised will be amended by the senate.

READ ALSO: Lawyer Says Hate Speech Bill Is A ‘Distraction, Waste Of Time’

Speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Senator Abdullahi explained that all the violence recorded in the country is preceded by hate speech and the bill when passed into law, will address the dangers hate speech poses for the country.

“I am still strongly convinced that the problem of hate speech is one that Nigeria must tackle. From what I have studied, both from a lot of scholars that have gone on the subject of violence in the country, there is a conclusion that almost all the violence is preceded by hate speech.

“Yes there may be a crisis between groups, but what will lead to violence is that somebody must have said something that is inciting to violence and that is how people who are innocent will fall victims, losing their lives and livelihood for no just cause because somebody somewhere is irresponsible enough to incite other people to that violence.

He added: “What is the cause of the violence? Hate speech is at the root of it. When we talk about hate speech, the issue of incitement comes in.”

The Senator urged Nigerians not to panic and detach emotional sentiments from the issue because the bill will reflect the views of Nigerians when it goes through legislative input by the National Assembly.

“Nigerians have agreed that there is a problem of hate speech, so the issue of agreement will come at the end of the day because the engagement process of the bill is still on and the beauty of democracy is that we are able to engage, have a conversation and talk through the issue whether good or bad and at the end of the day, if there is a consensus there will be r650 for action.”

Abdullahi Reacts To Bakare’s Comments, Says APC Has Not Failed

Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, has expressed confidence that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has done very well since it took over power in 2015, contrary to comments by Pentecostal Pastor, Tunde Bakare, that the government has failed.

Senator Abdullahi said this when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Monday.

“Pastor Tunde Bakare is totally entitled to his opinion and he has voiced his opinion but as far as I am concerned, APC has not failed. The number of years we have spent, looking at the problems we met on the ground, I think we are doing very well in trying to get Nigeria back on track.

“We are not saying that we couldn’t have done more but then, what we have done so far is within the context of the situation we have found ourselves and we have done very well,” he stressed.

Read Also: I Came To Lead Nigeria Into Her ‘Prophetic Destiny’ – Tunde Bakare

He also addressed other issues regarding the state of the polity, from the recent herdsmen killings to the passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.

On the herdsmen attacks witnessed by some states he said: “The Senate and indeed the National Assembly is equally very worried about the whole situation and let me reiterate the fact that as representatives of the people, any single part of this country that is affected by any form of crisis definitely get the National Assembly worried and let me say that for us, we are more than ever ready to respond accordingly based on the mandate given to us as legislators”.

Regarding the 2018 budget, he said the speed of the passage will be determined by a number of factors including the level of response of the MDAs to the various committees.

“The budgeting issues is actually a process – yes we started this issue before we went on recess and even during the recess, the process is still on.

“The implementation of the 2017 budget is still ongoing and we are expecting a rollover based on the presentation by Mr President of projects that are continuing from the 2017 budget. I think these things will even themselves out in the course of the few months ahead of us,” he said.