As Nigerians react to the recent bills proposed by two senators, former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on Wednesday declared that nobody can muzzle the voice of Nigerians adding that, “there is no basis for the ‘Hate Speech Bill’”.
General Babangida made the remark when he received the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chief Christopher Isiguzo who paid him a courtesy visit at his Minna Hill Top residence.
This is as the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello declared that he will continue to stand with the media so as to put to rest the Hate Speech and Social Media Bills which has drawn alot of criticism.
Babangida said a similar bill was presented before the 8th National Assembly and he advised against it saying that: “I am surprised that this bill has resurfaced.
“There is no basis for this now we are developing and we should be allowed to develop, if we make mistakes people can be cautioned
“If somebody goes off you have the right to call him to say no we don’t want this. Unless people are able to express themselves that the government or those in authority will know what is happening in the country.”
The former military president, who said the only reason for the bill is that the sponsors wants to show “eye service”,described the death penalty prescribed in the bill as “crude”.
“If somebody makes a hate speech put him in the gallows; shooting him it is crude it is not 21st century it could have happened may be some 300 years ago but not now,” he said.