Death penalty will be expunged, but hate speech bill remains – Senator Sabi

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Senate Deputy Chief Whip and sponsor of the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech (Establishment) Bill 2019, Senator  Sabi Abdullahi, insists lNigeria still needs the controversial bill.

The bill which prescribes death penalty has come under massive public outrage.

Sabi however says as the Senate resumes plenary the issue of death penalty will be reviewed and expunged.

He spoke on the matter while addressing State House Press Corps on Tuesday after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa by eminent persons from Niger State.

Sabi said, “I think what I want to say first and foremost is that because the baby is dirty or the water is dirty should not lead to a situation where we take the baby and the bad water and throw away. 

” I believe the hate speech bill which I am sponsoring, the most contentious issue that drew people’s concern was the death penalty and I recall vividly at that particular instance I issued a statement that as a sponsor of the bill at the appropriate time, I will ensure that the death penalty is put away such that no matter what the punitive measure is, we can all agree on what it should be. 

“But whether we desire a hate speech bill, my answer is capital yes. And my reasons are not far fetched. That particular bill is designed to address at least something that is fundamental and has been going on for the past 40,50 years in this country. 

“And it is assuming a new dimension that if we don’t control, we don’t want to have something like it happened in Rwanda for example. I think the essence of the bill is to prevent discrimination such that it leads to hostility and even death in some instances as it has happened,” he said.

The senator also said the delegation from Niger State,among other things expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the recent appointment people from their state to positions  of authority.

Asked whether the perennial  issue of  flooding in riverine parts of the state was discussed with the president, he said all relevant matters were on the table and  efforts to tackle such challenges were ongoing.

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