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Sponsor of Hate Speech Bill on his own, Nigerian senate declares

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Shittu Shola
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Nigerian senate Wednesday declared that the sponsor of the bill seeking for the establishment of National Commission for Prohibition of Hate Speeches, is on his own and has no its institutional backing.
The bill is being sponsored by Sen Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi. It was first read at the senate on Tuesday.

The upper legislative chamber said the bill like other ones, will be subjected to laid down legislative processes in determining its acceptability or  otherwise.

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Reacting to the backlash that has been trailing the bill from the media and the general public since it was passed for first reading , senate’s spokesman, Sen Godiya Akwashiki, said it was too early to attach the bill to the senate as an institution, in view of the fact that it was yet to be  debated for second reading.

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Mr Akwashiki who made the clarification at an interactive session with journalists, said: “We have a process of enacting a law or an act in the National Assembly or in the state Assembly.

“The process starts with the First reading, when the Leader of the Senate will read it for the first time.

“The second reading is taken after the bill has been subjected to debate on the floor of the senate.

“Once a bill scale second reading,  it has to go to the committee and would return to the house again.

“If it is a bill that will represent the wishes and interest of Nigerians,  it will scale second reading. If it is a bill that will create hardship for the people of Nigeria and crisis, it will be killed on the floor of the Senate by senators when it comes for second reading.

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“I  want to urge Nigerians to exercise patience with me Senate because it is not wise for me nor legally right for me to discuss a bill that has not been mentioned for the second time on the floor of the senate.

“When the bill comes for second reading,  then you will know where it is heading or what the Senate intends to do. I want to assure you that even if the bill scale second reading on the floor of the Senate and the public moves against it , it will not survive because  we are working for the progress and betterment of Nigerians.”

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The senate was last year forced to drop its first attempt to enact the law perhaps by the massive public outcry that it generated.

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