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Ben Murray-Bruce: We're working on a bill to curb hate speech – Senator

Sen Ben Murray Bruce and Babafemi Ojudu

Ben Bruce said the proposed bill when passed into law would check the activities of those agitating for secession.

Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce has said the National Assembly will soon work on a bill that will punish people engaging in hate speeches in the country.

The Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District said the National Assembly will soon work on a bill that stipulates great consequences for people engaging in hate speeches in the country.

Speaking at a meeting convened by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Affairs, Alhaji Nasiru Adhama for regional youth leaders in Abuja, Murray-Bruce said Nigerian youths must not create unnecessary tension.

The senator stated that the proposed bill when passed into law would check the activities of those agitating for secession as well as encouraging divisive tendencies among Nigerians.

“There will be great consequences for hate speech. We must not create tension and get into the ethnic game.

“We must not get into hate speech because we are coming up with a bill at the National Assembly that will stipulate great consequences for people engaging in hate speeches.

“I said there will be consequences for hate speech.

“You don’t have the right to get on Television to insult any ethnic group in this country; you don’t have the right to criticise the other group because you don’t love them, you don’t sound like them, you don’t talk like them, you don’t walk like them.

“You have no right to divide this country. We have enough problems the way we are. We will not tolerate any of the nonsense.

“We need a government of national unity. Right now, we must keep Nigeria united; we must stand together, stay healthy and move Nigeria forward,’’ he said.

He attributed the current problems facing Nigeria as a geo-political entity to inability of Nigerians to study the nation’s history, saying the previous Nigerian Ministers of Education should be held responsible for this situation.

According to him, we need to understand why we are a nation called Nigeria and why we have problems in first place.

“One of the biggest problems we have as a nation is that we are not students of history.

“Sometimes you need to agitate so that we can have a conversation, so that we can fix the problem. So, we have to cope with agitating as long as there is no violence.

“But I think as a nation we must understand history. Like I said in the senate we must understand history.

“History teaches us that supporting one ethnic group against the other is counterproductive.

“How did we all get here. We got here because in 1966 the Igbo command wiped out the northern command, that is how it started.

“Then, the northern command retaliated and wiped out the Igbo command than they started killing Igbos in north then they went home.

“Ojukwu felt he should be head of state because he was older and more senior to Gowon. And then he set up the republic of Biafra, he started fighting he lost the war and went on exile,” he said.

Murray-Bruce also stressed the need for population control policy to check possible population explosion in the country.

He maintained that the nation’s population was part of its challenges which must be addressed if Nigeria must progress.

We are a nation of 180million people; 70 million unemployed; six million lost their jobs last year alone.

“So, what is happening? For every position there are about 10,000 people trying to take your job. So, everybody has a right to feel cheated by somebody who has a job and you don’t have a job.

“We must have a population control policy whether you like it or not, whether you are a Muslim or Christian, even if you don’t believe in abortion.

“If we don’t stop the growth of Nigeria from 180million to one billion in less than a 100 years, if you cannot feed 180million today I guarantee you in a 100 years Nigeria is going to be more populous than China and India.

People say this guy is crazy, yes, I’m crazy,” he said.

The senator further lamented that Nigeria had been turned into factory of producing babies without commensurate economic benefits.

According to him, we used to think the population explosion was only in north. When I went to the villages in Bayelsa, for every hut I walked passed there were 10 to 15 children outside this hut.

“Now, Nigeria is a baby making factory; we make babies.

“They may say we are the largest consumer market in the world. Well, we cannot be the consumer market in the world when you have very poor people.’’

The Senator reiterated his call for a constitutional conference, saying the nation needed to be restructured where power would move to the states.

According to him, the Federal Government has too much power and control too much of the resources of the country.

Other speakers at the event, included Malam Isaq Balami of the Arewa Consultative Forum Youth Congress, who advised the youth not to allow themselves to be used and dumped by the elites.

Comrade Ola Hassan of the Yoruba Council of Youth stressed the need for more legislative laws and policies that would be of enormous benefit to the entire Nigerians irrespective of their geo-political backgrounds.

He called for Youth driven laws such the proposed Youth Development Right Act that would guarantee better life for all Nigerian youths.

Hassan called for immediate hosting of youth dialogue summit before Oct. 1 to quell the three months ultimatum issued by some youth groups in the north.

Source: Pulse Nig

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