Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly has said Nigerian prisons will be filled with bloggers, critics and perceived political opponents if the hate speech bill is passed.
Sani said the law against hate speech will be used against free speech.
According to him, Nigeria being a democratic state must, ”balance its security exigencies with its constitutional obligations and moral duty to uphold the rule of law and respect fundamental rights of its citizens.”
The lawmaker, however, maintained that, anyone who does not want to be criticized should not occupy a public office.
Sani on Facebook wrote, ”Most people in power are intolerant to criticism and allergic to dissent to be trusted with a capital punishment for hate speech.The law against hate speech will be used against free speech.
”Many critics and social media enthusiasts will end up in the gallows.Our condemned cells in the prisons will be filled with bloggers,critics and perceived political opponents.We must fight Hate speech,Hate speech is a real threat to peace,unity and order of a nation but we must protect free speech.Free speech is the shield of the oppressed.
”When you have state police and you have capital punishment for hate speech,you will have tyranny and terror as a state policy. People in power should think twice about what they do with power as someday they will be out of power.
”If you are in public office and you don’t want to be criticized or challenged, please dismount and go back to your family where you can be an imperial emperor.”