The lawmaker representing Niger North Senatorial District and the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, has disclosed that he’s been receiving threatening messages since the hate speech bill he sponsored passed its first reading.
It was reported as you will recall that Senator Abdullahi proposed a National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill and death by hanging as punishment for hate speeches.
The Niger Senator who stated that he won’t shy away from his responsibility because of the threats, added that the bill was not passed in the eight Senate because he left it alone at that time because the political atmosphere was already getting charged at its first reading.
“Like somebody wrote to me, over the past ten days or so since the bill was read for the first time, I have received all kinds of messages some even including threats. But I am not bothered about that. In all of these, if I receive one commendation, it gladdens my heart and I did receive many commendations and one stood out and said there is so much hate in this country. We must check it.
“If you meet those who have lost their loved ones arising from religious or ethnicity, intolerance, and the like, I don’t think they will be smiling with you when you tell them hate speech is nonsense or does not exist. They have felt, seen and are living as victims of hate speech,” he said.
“I reckon in my thinking that the atmosphere was not right for even debating the subject matter because, at the end of the day, we will be missing the point. So I did not pursue it.
“On assessing the reason why I introduced the bill in the 8th senate in the first instance, I have seen that these reasons are not abated. If anything, they are actually assuming a life of their own. So I decided that this bill be reintroduced and it was on the 12th of this month.
“They will demonise me, I am not moved because this is the subject of life and no one buys life in the market. Nobody came with a spare” Abdullahi added.