Bill to prosecute people who engage in hate speech underway – Minister
A bill to ensure the prosecution of people who engage in hate speech is underway, the Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) has said.
Dambazau said this at the National Secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) while fielding questions from journalists.
The minister, who was at the APC secretariat to brief the National Working Committee (NWC) on the activities of his ministry, said a draft bill had been submitted to the Ministry of Justice.
He said hate speech must never be allowed in Nigeria since nobody could determine the tribe he or she would belong to.
Asked to explain the reasons why it was difficult to prosecute those perpetrating hate speech, he said, “we just submitted a draft bill to the ministry of justice on hate speech.
That draft speech is supposed to go as an executive bill after getting to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
That draft speech contains the laws and punishment for hate speech. “Hate speech should not be allowed in this country, everybody is entitled to belong to the religion he believes in.
“I mean people don’t choose the tribe to be, that’s how God brought him and there is absolutely no reason for hate speech.
“So, if the national assembly passes that law, certainly anybody who is engaged in hate speech will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.”
On the recent attacks on a church in Anambra State, the minister said he is still awaiting a detailed report on the incident, but added that he had spoken with the governor who confirmed that the issue arose from two persons from the same village in the South-east.
Dambazau also dismissed the reports of recruitment scandal in his ministry. He, however, said that the immigration is currently recruiting 1112 to complete the balance of those recalled from the 2015 exercise.
He said, “There is no recruitment scandal. I believe what is happening is just what has happened to other organizations. We have some people with criminal minds either through facebook or social media in general deceiving people who are desperately looking for jobs to tell them they can offer them jobs.
“What we are doing now is recruitment in the immigration and the recruitment in immigration is an uncompleted business that we met in 2015. Remember that 2000 persons were recruited and they were normally observed to which they were dispersed and so on. When we came onboard, we studied the situation and we found out it was necessary for us to recall them and re-assess them because some of those are normally bothered on the issue of fake certificate, over age and so on.
“When we call them, we advertise. About 1500 of them reported and we re-assessed 1500 that reported. Out of which, we get 888 that scape through. So, the balance of 1112 is what we advertise for recruitment and that recruitment is online. It is free. Nobody should pay for it.
“This is where we are now because we have to allow six weeks for advertisement for people to take advantage of the use of the portal. Now, we have closed that. What we are going to do is to look at those who are qualified to be invited for interview which will be done state by state.”