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The antidote to hate speech isn’t ‘hate speech bill’, it’s good governance

The antidote to hate speech isn’t ‘hate speech bill’, it’s good governance
November 15
13:30 2019
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When people are in power, for either four (4) or eight (8) years, it would look like they are going to be in power for eternity. Either four (4) or eight (8) years is not a long time. Before you say jack, you are already out of your current office, becoming an “ordinary” citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Those who are riding on the back of lion today are definitely going to find themselves in it tomorrow. Very soon, the hen is going to come home to roost.

When the PDP did hold sway in Nigeria, they boasted that they were the most powerful political party in Africa and that they would be in power for the next sixty (60) years, but today, they are out of power at the centre, and they are trying to fight their way back into Aso Rock, the lowest seat of power in Nigeria, because the number one citizen of Nigeria is expected to serve of all of us. On the condition that someone had told them that they wouldn’t be in power beyond sixteen (16) years, they would have called it hate speech, sentencing the person to death by hanging!

Whoever uses power (that is transient, ephemeral, fleeting and brief) to hound people today are going to be paid back with the same coin in the days to come. Power is meant for selfless-service, not to terrorize the voiceless citizens of Nigeria. What you give today when you are in power, you are going to receive tomorrow when you leave power for your village.

Kindly understand that I am vehemently against what a few easily and negatively influenced tribes in Nigeria are consistently doing on social media—always attacking each other, beating the drum of war. Some politicians are in control of their minds, setting them against themselves. We do not need “Hate Speech Bill” to nip their shenanigan in the bud; so that the entire country ain’t set on fire. As porous as our current constitution is as our borders, it is still capable of punishing those who are daily beating the drum of war. They think the sound that comes out of the drum of war is either hip hop or highlife. They undoubtedly hadn’t been born during the last “Civil War” that wasted millions of precious destinies.

A few years back, when the issue of “Hate Speech Bill” started rearing its unsightly and hideous head—when Bukola Saraki was the Senate President, some well meaning Nigerians rose against it and its tree was cut with a political knife, but not totally uprooted, but with the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan and his controlled-team, it has started budding again. I am aware that some credible citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have taken President Buhari and the 9th Assembly to court. And we are waiting for its outcome. The current Administration is known for being selectively obedient when it comes to court orders, though.

I am tempted to believe that “Hate Speech Bill” is majorly being directed at those who consistently hold those who are presently in power. Nigerians are giving to them, what they gave to those who were in power in the days of the PDP, but it seems the APC led government does not like it. And they want to use the Bill to gag Nigerians. Just like a Senator said that if “Hate Speech Bill” was passed into law when GEJ was in power, a current Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would have been dead by now, because he is actually the father of modern-day hate speeches. 

No one uses fake and hate statements like politicians! And if the APC (All Progressives Congress) political party thinks it is going to govern Nigeria forever from Abuja, they need to remember the PDP political party. “Hate Speech Bill” trap they are setting for those who vehemently and consistently hold them accountable, they are going to fall into it when they too leave power like those who were once calling the shots of Nigeria from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This is the most humorous part of “Hate Speech Bill: “The bill also “seeks the establishment of a National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech to help investigate and prosecute offenders…” This is the aspect of the so called Bill that will never allow it to fly, because where are they going to get the money to open “Hate Speech” National Commission’s offices nationwide? Or are they going to use their “bread of office” to bankroll it? 

“Hate Speech Bill” is incapable of curbing hate speeches in our clime; it will definitely increase it, because you cannot keep beating a child and expect him not to cry! The only antidote to hate speeches isn’t any ill-conceived bill, it is good governance. And Nigerians are the easiest people to govern on earth. Within the context of good governance, they do not need much from those leading them. They have never said anyone should make Nigeria to become like London, using a magic wand. They only need a few things: stable supply of electricity, good roads and security. Make what I mentioned available and leave the rest and watch my people rise to the top in the midst of the earth. For the umpteenth time, the only antidote to hate speeches isn’t “Hate Speech Bill,” it is good governance. 

Last of all, what Mrs. Aisha and governor of Kaduna did in Kogi yesterday wasn’t hate speech, it was hate deed! And hate deed is superior to hate speech. A man refused to pay salary for almost four (4) years and Aisha and E-rufai were kneeling and prostrating to Kogi people to forgive him, so they can continue to swim in the pool of their avoidable suffering. If the status-quo is maintained, then it means Kogi people and suffering are like five (5) and six (6)! May the will of Kogi people prevail tomorrow!

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