- Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has described the death penalty in the hate speech bill as crude and wicked
- The former head of state said there is even no need for such a bill
- According to IBB, the bill was an eye service by the sponsor
Following the passage of the controversial hate speech bill for second reading in the Nigerian Senate, ex-military leader, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has declared that nobody can muzzle Nigerians.
The former head of state also described the death penalty in the bill as crude and wicked.
According to Babangida, who spoke in his Minna Uphill residence, nobody can deny Nigerians their freedom of speech.
He disclosed this when he received the national president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chief Christopher Isiguzo, who visited him, The Sun reports.
Going further, he insisted that there was even no basis for the bill.
The former head of state recalled that a similar bill was presented before the eighth National Assembly and he advised against it.
“I am surprised that this bill has resurfaced. There is no basis for this now. We are developing; 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, those in government or in authority will not know what is happening in the country.”
He also claimed the bill was an “eye service” by the sponsor.
“If somebody makes hate speech, put him in the gallows and not shoot him. It is crude and out of tune with the 21st-century reality. It could have happened, maybe some 300 years ago, but not now.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the United Nations (UN) reacted to the hate bill that proposes capital punishment.
The UN's deputy secretary-general, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, on Tuesday, November 26, said that while the move against hate speech is commendable, the death penalty aspect of the proposed bill should be scrapped.
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