Nothing can stop us from social media regulation.
We are not alone in doing this. Countries around the world are as concerned as we are, and they are doing something about the social media. The list is long: Germany, UK, Singapore, China, South Korea, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, etc,” the minister said. He said the campaign against fake news and hate speech had assumed a heightened dimension.
The mouth that instituted and popularized hate speech is now fighting against it.
By Charles Ogbu
14th November 2019
The Nigerian Social Media is the last and only standing lifeline not just for democracy but for our right to life. If we lose it, we will have lost everything.
The two atrocious bills (1) Social Media bill sponsored by APC Senator representing Niger East Senatorial zone, Muhammad Sani Musa and (2) Hate Speech bill sponsored by the deputy Chief whip, Aliyu Abdullahi from Niger state must not be allowed to become law. The two bills seek to achieve only one evil aim which is taking away our right to express our frustration at the criminal idiocy of the govt.
If the HATE SPEECH Bill which prescribes DEATH BY HANGING for violators makes it through second reading in the rubber stamp Senate, WE ARE DOOMED! Remember, HATE SPEECH IS WHAT THE GOVT SAYS IT IS. For example, if Fulani herdsmen invade a village killing men, women and children with govt sponsored impunity, and you, a victim of the attack comes on social media to blame the herdsmen, the govt controlled by the same people could accuse you of Hate Speech and seeing as our Judiciary is now 'achikota ekwee onu' (a joke), they will effortlessly convict you and the punishment is hanging, according to the bill.
In the process of passing a bill into law, first reading is more like the introduction of the bill which almost always doesn't require debate on the content of the bill. The real work begins at the second reading when every Senator is expected to have been gifted with a copy of the bill which they must have read before debating it. And seeing as we use the primitive and archaic "yes" and "nays" here as against electronic voting, it is very easy for a pliant Senate President to say something like "the nays have it" even if the "yes" shouted the loudest. It is also so easy for one idiot with the voice of comedian "Broda Shaggi" to raise his voice loud enough to confuse a sincere Senate President into making the wrong conclusion. It becomes worse when you realize that Ahmed Lawan, the current Senate President has never hidden his desire to keep his head and that of the entire Senate as an institution eternally buried in the poo-poo hole of the daura ex soldier who lives in the Rock.
The Senate minority leader, distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe, will use everything in his power to TRY to get his colleagues to oppose that atrocious bill just like he promised today on Channels TV show. But the Realist in me knows HE MAY LIKELY FAIL for obvious reasons: Most of the Senators he will be relying on to oppose the bill are former governors, deputy governors, ministers etc. And reasonable number of them are into govt contracts. Which means, they have one dirty file or the other hanging around their necks. Knowing how this govt uses state agencies to achieve unholy selfish aim, we know how the EFCC will be used to force their hands. And for the very few clean ones amongst them (if they exist), all it takes is a heavy dose of monetary inducement. This is basically how the Executive right from the Obasanjo time controls the legislature. With someone like Ahmed Lawan, Buhari may not even need to go to the above length. So you see why I said Abaribe may most likely fail? This is where we must appreciate Saraki/Ekweremadu leadership in the last Senate.
The only people that can stop these political Bandits is the Nigerian people through constant social media shouting, Facebook and twitter trends which will involve tagging major international media houses and embassies plus credible foreign organizations. And peaceful street protests which, of course, the repressive security forces will clamp down on but it will create the necessary attention. I would have suggested releasing the phone numbers of all Nigerian Senators for a protest calls and text messages but considering our ethnic cleavages, I don't know how that will play out.
Lastly, this is not the time to mock Sowore or anyone being detained by this lawless govt or those protesting for their release even if they were ex-Buharists. If we must survive this, we must rise above such mawkish emotional sentimentality and see this evil for the whirlwind it really is. Ask yourself, if they could treat their former allies this way, what will they do to you who has been their enemy from Adam? As they ask in the street, death wey kpai Alhaji, wetin im go do to Almajiri?
In life, unforeseen circumstances play a big role in the affairs of man. No matter how perfect these evil men think their plans are, Natural forces can still scuttle it all. So somehow, I hope and pray that unforeseen circumstances will work in our favor here but before then, we must do what we can on our own.
Charles Ogbu is a social media activist
They have caged radio Nigeria, monopolized NTA, terrorised AIT, and the owner. They have silent all the journalists and judges in Nigeria and finally they have come with death by hanging, terrorised and put fears in to social media users, just to shut up every mouth and have field days. These are the people we voted into power, supposedly to be accountable to us, in a democratic society.
There's no bill to hang looters
There's no bill to hang corrupt senators padding the budget
There's no bill to hang bandits who killed Nigerians for money
There's no bill to hang Boko Haram terrorists massacring our people
There's no bill to hang party thieves called party leaders who sell offices to highest bidders
There's no bill to hang state governors who loot their state dry and end up in the Senate to retire
There's no bill to end poverty, inequality, insecurity or create jobs
...but they have a bill to sentence anyone they hate to death by hanging for hate speech on Facebook, Twitter
Decree 4 of 1985.
Decree 4 of Buhari at the time was about going to jail if you ever write anything about the President or his appointees, rightly or wrongly, once you write about Buhari or his criminal thugs they plotted the coup together at the time, decree 4 says you must be jailed without the court...
There's no death penalty for election riggers;
There's no death penalty for looters;
No death penalty for killers.
And the slaves shouts "Hurray"!
God will punish you all.
Written by Ebere Okolie
The Biafra Herald / Emeka Gift
FAMILY WRITERS PRESS EDITORIAL
14th November 2019
The Nigerian Senate commonly referred to as the red chamber in the National Assembly, is relentlessly pushing for a bill, demanding that Nigerians found guilty of what they term "Hate Speech" (any speech targeted against any elected politician particularly), by the Nigerian government, will summarily be put to gruesome death by hanging. Nigeria had this bad experience between 1984 and 1985 during the draconian rule of retired General Muhammadu Buhari as he forcefully truncated a democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, through a military coup d'etat, thereby becoming the then Head of State. And to further consolidate his dictatorial grip on power, he killed three vibrant Nigerian journalists through firing squad. He proceeded to subjugate the citizens to diverse humiliations and misery.
Today, Nigerians who have refused to learn from history, took a step further to reward this same coupist, with the presidency under the cloak of a democrat, disappointedly returning Nigeria back to the stone age. Rather than brainstorming and initiating plans on how best to grow the economy, create jobs, build more infrastructures and factories aimed at bettering the lives of the people they claim to be representing, the Nigerian Senators are busy wasting resources and talking about how to kill the citizens through death penalty by hanging. This runs totally contradictory to their electioneering campaign promises of beneficial democratic dividends.
Recall that it was through the instrumentality of the social media that the ruling APC government got to the crest of leadership albeit bullying of their suspected and assumed political opponents. The erstwhile Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, lavishly gave them the freedom to express themselves. They called him all sorts of names, tacitly sponsored and supported Boko Haram terrorists against the Nigerian State. Today however, the same band of individuals are seeking to authenticate their killing of the people through the National Assembly, over the use of the same social media they previously employed to their advantage, as a source of information.
For some, they will stay and do nothing, believing that the proposed bill will not scale through. For the docile and the ignorant, let it be explicitly stated here that under this ninth (9th) National Assembly, the Senate to be precise, unread/undebated bills have equally been passed. This is their grand strategy to finally silence vocal Nigerians who stand opposed to their evils. Since conscientious politicians seem to have successfully been caged, their next target is the ordinary people whom they want to stop forthwith, from exposing the atrocities of the Nigerian government. It should not be forgotten, that it is this same government that will determine those things that constitute hate speeches and the offenders to punish, in collaboration with the grossly compromised, conquered and shamelessly useless Judiciary.
This is the more reason why Biafrans must strive more than ever before, to have the sovereign nation of Biafra totally restored, without further delay. There is absolutely nothing in common between Biafrans and Muslims whose Sharia legal system abhors freedom of speech and association. There exists no other group that has the divine mandate to liberate the Biafran citizens except the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) themselves. It is neither the helplessly fulanised South-East governors nor the members of Ohaneze Ndigbo who have unrepentantly maintained sealed lips in the face of executive tyranny, suppression and killing of their own people. They are very anxiously awaiting the passage of the evil bill into law for their own selfish interests.
Biafrans must fully utilize the opportunity created by the restoration of the Biafran struggle, to stop the Nigerian Senate and the Executive from orchestrating the unwarranted death of millions of social media users in Nigeria. It is a duty that must be accomplished.
Written by Ebere Okolie
Editor, Family Writers Press International
BY SYLVESTER UDEMEZUE
15th November 2019
Promulgation of an ANTI-HATE SPEECH LAW in unnecessary in Nigeria. What we need is to change our leadership attitude and orientation. When you stop hate action, hate leadeship style and hate governance policies and systems, hate speech would naturally die off. As long as hate action, hate leadership and hate governance continue, what you call hate speech would continue because hate speech is a natural result of hate leadership actions. ILLUSTRATION: Section 13(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN), 1999 provides that “it shall be the duty and responsibility of … government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter Two of this Constitution.” *Section 14(1) of chapter 2 of the Constitution provides that “the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice” while section 14(3) demands that “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.” On its part, section 15(2) says that “national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited. Finally, section 15(4), provides that “the State shall foster a feeling of belonging and of involvement among the various people of the Federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.” Now, I ask,
(A) Is our governance run in such a manner as to ensure there is no predominance in government of people from one or few sections?
(B) Do the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs reflect the federal character of Nigeria?
(C) Do our governments and leaders pursue and promote national integration, social justice and fairness?
(D) In the running of the affairs of government, in Nigeria, are there NO discriminations on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties?
(E). Do our leaders place loyalty to the nation over and above sectional loyalties? We need honest answers to these questions because that’s the root of”hate speech.”
IN SUMMARY, DO OUR LEADERS RESPECT FEDERAL CHARACTER? If they refuse to respect federal character, HOW DO YOU EXPECT “HATE SPEECH” TO DIE? How?
A Writer, Sue Fitzmaurice once said: “Our wounds can so easily turn us into people we don't want or never wanted to be."* So, we need to ask honest questions. And find candid answers.. These cosmetic approaches we adopt to issues that bother us, only make matters worse. As Martin Luther King Jr, said, “darkness is only driven out with light, not by more darkness. “ Accordingly, We need to re-think governance and leadership in Nigeria to make it more inclusive, peope-oriented and more sensitive to the plight and yearning of the people . Our leaders have failed us. Quote me. It did not start today. When people feel disappointed and frustrated, this is what we get. True peace and love are not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice and fairness. The time is always right to do what is right. The time for Nigeria is now. Time is running out. Nigeria might go up in flames any moment if we do not act fast. Good governance is not a form of fire-fighting or crisis-management. So, instead of opting for all these ad-hoc solutions (like promulgating an anti-hate speech law), the need of the hour is to tackle the root cause of the problems. If governance is corrupted, insecurity, hate speech, mistrust, disharmony, hate, acrimony, are the natural results. All these give rise to wbat you call HATE SPEECH, and which I prefer to see as mere expression of frustrated people’s anger against failed and frustrating governance styles. As David Hume once said, *“the corruption of the best things gives rise to the worst.”* There may be times that a people may not be able to do anything about oppression, but there must never be a time there fail to at least complain. IT IS NATURAL!
Sylvester UDEMEZUE (UDEMS)
When you see them gathering in the Senate chamber you may believe that they are working towards your betterment, most of them from BIAFRA land can't say a single word throughout their 4 years tenure even if the house is debating on how to bomb every living thing in BIAFRA land.
What they are after is to pocket their sitting and Constituency allowances, now they want to pass a law against hate speech if found guilty you will be killed by hanging meaning that you have no right to speak even when they are looting you dry. Nigeria is indeed a shithole!!!
Mazi Onyebuchi Obi
Written by Anioke Chukwunonso
The Biafra Herald
15th November 2019
It is most unfortunate that even in this 21st century, Nigerian citizens are yet drowning in blatant misery, diminishing illumination towards hope and welfare while political tyrants who call themselves intellectuals, criminally bastardize economic growth and development without recourse. These political terrorists being consumed in fear of purposeful and imminent revolutionary implosion by the grossly impoverished citizens, have taken to reckless and heightened impunity. Scourges of threats aimed at subduing the civilian population into stone silence and mockery, hold sway daily.
Deliberate strangulation of free speech by the law makers on the banner of hate speech, is an antecedent to forcefully impose legal terror on the already emasculated civilian population. This plot of trying to muzzle free speech by the Nigerian Senators, is a wake-up call to all human rights activists/organisations, men and women of goodwill, to stand up to not only strongly defend but defeat this organized coup against the rights of the people to freedom of speech, association and expression. It should be noted that this sinister agenda of imposition of legislative terror by the Nigerian National Assembly, is an incitement against the vocal and informed indigenous population of Biafra, Oduduwa and Arewa. It is surreptitiously being driven to drag the people down to the age of information censorship even in the so-called democracy.
Recommendation and implementation of death sentence and or enforcement of imprisonment by the Nigerian government against citizens for exercising their rights to free speech, is to say the least, most callous and disgustingly shameful. With Nigeria ranked as one of the most miserable countries for human habitation as well as the world's poverty capital index ratio, the hope of the people for economic survival and development is dashed. Amidst all these, the socio-economic failure ravaging the country, with the hope of any attention by the lawmakers, is blatantly being neglected. The person (Buhari) that is presiding over the affairs of Nigeria as the President, should be impeached, arrested and imprisoned or better still, be made to face death sentence for his various speech threats to humanity. During his previous election campaigns, he categorically stated that "the monkeys and the baboons will be soaked in blood" if he failed being elected. And his non tribal political supporters were at different locations hacked to death, with their killers going scot-free. This undemocratic act by the Nigerian upper legislative chamber then props up some very important questions that need answers. If this maladious enterprise of death sentence against "Hate Speech" pulls through in the Nigerian Senate, what measures then will be adopted to the myriads of failed election campaign promises by the politicians, extra-judicial killings and extortions by the police and army, humanitarian abuses/harassments, disobedience to the rule of law by the government, wave of Fulani Islamic terrorism, nepotism, religious bigotry, etcetera?
These laws of perdition being crafted by the Nigerian political class to massage their mundane, evil interests, are only directed at totally destroying the freedom of existence of the civilian population vis-a-vis attached relevant democratic values. Where then is the basis upon which the lawmakers can enact and uphold just legislation? Where are the principles of freedom of speech and the Press which remain valuable hallmarks in a democracy? Where are the laws binding civilian right to peaceful protests which is one of the basic hopes of the people against undemocratic values and antecedents of political office holders in a democratic government?
Nigeria is a failed entity and cannot work. All just principles and laws of civilised beings in a democracy, are being bastardized and subjected to acrimonious experimentation. It is therefore the duty of every citizen to arise and defend the cause of their existence against all odds. This is the only veritable option.
Written by Anioke Chukwunonso
Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International