Hate speech: Alaafin of Oyo opposes bill, says death penalty too harsh

Hate speech: Alaafin of Oyo opposes bill, says death penalty too harsh

- Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has condemned the hate speech bill introduced by the National Assembly

- Oba Adeyemi said anyone who is not ready to be criticised should not aspire for political office

- The revered monarch challenged lawyers and other professionals to speak up and ensure it is not passed

As Nigerians widely condemned the Hate Speech Bill being considered by the Senate, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has made his position on the controversial bill known.

Speaking at a book presentation on Friday, December 20, in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, the revered monarch berated the National Assembly for introducing the bill, The Guardian reports.

According to Alaafin, anyone who is not ready to be criticised should not aspire for political office.

He said the death penalty prescribed by the bill is too harsh just as he challenged lawyers and other professionals to speak up and ensure it is not passed.

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Hate speech: Alaafin of Oyo opposes bill, says death penalty too harsh

Theophilus Danjuma, Olatokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, Oladipo Akinkugbe. Alaafin of Oyo, and other guests at the book presentation marking 70 years of Nigerian Tribune. Credit: NAN
Source: UGC

“If I have not killed anyone and I give an opinion that is contrary to the government’s, will it be sufficient reason for me to be hanged? Where are the lawyers in Nigeria? Can’t they speak up?

“Nobody is speaking up. If you don’t want to be criticised, then you don’t have to be in government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi who is the sponsor of the bill seeking to check hate speech has given in to the agitations by Nigerians, saying that the death penalty will be amended.

The senator who is the deputy chief whip of the upper legislative chamber made this known in a statement released on Sunday, November 24.

According to the statement, the lawmaker, who is representing Niger North senatorial district, said the bill will be modified to reflect the views and wishes of Nigerians before it is passed into law.

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In a similar development, Nigeria's ex-military leader, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), has said that nobody can muzzle Nigerians.

The former head of state also described the death penalty in the hate speech bill as crude and wicked.

According to Babangida who spoke in his Minna Uphill residence, nobody can deny Nigerians their freedom of speech.

He stated this when he received the national president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chief Christopher Isiguzo, who visited him.

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