Senator Victor Umeh, the former senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District at the upper legislative chamber, has kicked against the hate speech Bill before the National Assembly.
The Senator who spoke with journalists yesterday, on the sideline during the 60th anniversary of Bubendorf Grammar School Adazi- Nnukwu in Anaocha Local government Area, described the bill as an attempt to deny Nigerians, the freedom of speech.
”I am no longer in the senate, but if I am still there, I will oppose it because such a Bill is an attempt to gag Nigerians and deny them the freedom of speech. There is no clear definition of what constitutes hate speech” he said.
He said the Bill even if it eventually becomes law will not work because it does not have a comprehensive definition of hate speech.
“The hate speech is an amorphous word and what constitutes hate speech is not clear. Is hate speech when somebody says the government is not doing well, or when somebody complains about the actions of leaders ” he asked.
He added the only thing that could remove hate speech in the system is when things are done properly, equitable and fair to all.
Umeh asked, “if someone feels marginalised and neglected by the system and voice out his/her pains, ‘will the person be charged for hate speech?
He said people tend to use harsh words on those in authority because they are aggrieved and have lost confidence in those in government, nobody can stop them from using harsh words.
Umeh said that people are using harsh words to heat up the system because they felt marginalised and neglected by the system.
Instead of sponsoring Bill against free speech, he said, the senate should sponsor Bill that makes every person have a sense of belonging in Nigeria’ enterprise, saying that when everybody is happy there would be no need for hate speech.
He reiterated that the only way to stop hate speech in the country was to do things that makes everybody happy and everybody sees himself as part of the country.
”When some people see themselves as strangers because things were not done right you cannot control the harsh words, he said.