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Opponents of ‘hate speech bill’ are pretenders – Senator Abdullahi

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Deputy chief whip of the senate has lashed out at those opposing the controversial hate speech bill he is sponsoring.

The lawmaker who described opponents of this bill alleged that the media is being infiltrated by some elements with bias of escalating violence, capable.

He warned Nigerians to be careful of false information being phased out by some groups and persons parading themselves as serving the interest of the nation.

The Niger State Senator insisted there’s need to criminalize hate speech as he cited the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report on”Overcoming Dangerous Speech and Endemic Religious Divides in Central Nigeria” to back his aim of sponsoring the bill.

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

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

“In some cases, false news about strikes have incited the people to undertake revenge attacks in several parts of the country.”

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

“Across the nation, scores of people were killed because of these conflicts, further providing fuel for the wildfire of hate speech.

“More than any time in the recent history of the nation, hate speech became widely used in public discourse and communication.

“They fueled a dynamic that weakened national cohesion and made it hard for the nation to collectively address the threat to peace that influenced the population in the country.”

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