Senate President Bukola Saraki, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, has said the passage of bills against hate speech and jungle justice will be given priority when the chamber resumes from annual recess.
Saraki stated that the bill would be a major part of the Senate’s agenda of the 8th Senate for the next 22 months and due to the rising tensions in the polity.
Highlights of the statement:
- The Hate Speech Bill will help mitigate against verbal attacks or expressions against individuals or groups.
- The bill will end the rise of hate speeches by proposing punitive measures against those who are fond of it.
- Also, the Anti-Jungle Justice Bill, sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi-West), will help ‘curtail, protect and prohibit’ Nigerians from meting out extra-judicial justice to alleged offenders.
- The Senate President also stated that the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Rules and Business of the Senate would work to ensure that Anti-Jungle Justice Bill was quickly passed and sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
Groups who are connected with hate speech:
- A coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (NDA) has said they would resume attacks on September 10, 2017; also asking Northerners, the Yoruba to leave Niger Delta before October 1, 2017’.
- A youth group under the aegis of Katsina State Progressive Youth Alliance met and declared its support for quit notice given by some Northern youth groups to the Igbo’s to leave the region by October 1st.
- A coalition of Middle Belt Youth has asked herdsmen in the region to vacate before October 1 this year.
- The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (ACF) has said its quit notice to Igbo people resident in the north still stands.
- IPOB and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who, among other comments, said he is free to visit anywhere. And, any attempt to re-arrest him will quicken the Biafra Republic.
Reactions from concerned authorities:
- Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau said Arewa youth who issued quit notice to Igbos have not been arrested because they claimed to have been misquoted.
- The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris said, “We have the National Security Council in place chaired by the Acting President. We have been meeting and analyzing each of these threat messages from separatist groups. We have to analyse the pros and cons. As you are aware, the police are on top of the situation.
- From Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, “We must control and insist that people don’t make utterances that are capable of disrupting the peace.”