[A hate action deserves hate feedback; you don’t solve a problem by taking care of the effects, you solve it by tackling the causes. Hate action begets hate speech]
Nigeria as a country is shrouded in mystery. It is officially beyond a case study. Our problem has gone beyond what education can fix. Metaphysics has no answers to the Nigerian question. Nigeria defies human logic. Prophecies to have lost its fulfilling powers in Nigeria. Our men of God have been reduced and silenced because Nigeria has succeeded in making prayers seem ineffective.
Nigeria thrives in perpetual wickedness, state-sponsored assassinations, embezzlement of public funds, frauds in the high places, ethnocentrism, extortion from government security forces. Our roads have graduated from being death traps to the gates of hell.
The ruling class have chosen wealth over the lives and well being of the ruled. The gap between the rich and the poor in Nigeria is on the rise every second. Constitutions are exclusively reserved and very active for the proletariats but inactive and as a shield for the ruling class.
Our court has become the misery of the common man. It only favors the highest bidders. Sue Gen. Buhari to court, request he provide his certificates and he will respond with about 200 Sans. If they can’t get the job done; Judges will be demoted, those willing to be used will be promoted. In the end, both the case and the prosecutors will become a story missing in history.
The masses are practically at the mercy of the ruling class. The privileged few have left Nigeria for other countries. The unfortunate ones lost their lives in the desert while attempting to travel to Europe by road. Those who are currently trapped in Nigeria are willing to do the unthinkable to ensure they have something to eat. Others who abhors the zoo that Nigeria has finally become are shot at while protesting for better governance.
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Since protesting has become dangerously dangerous, we do that in our homes. We speak up from the uncomfortableness of our abodes since that’s the least we can do. As if we have not been subjugated enough, they want to create a bill that will guide us on what to think, what to speak and how to say it.
A bill proposes the death penalty for hate speech but has no provision for hate action which actually triggers the said hate speech. That’s how rotten Nigeria has become.
Permit me to inoculate you on why there should be a hate speech bill but no hate action bill.
Some section of this country believes Nigeria is their birthright; an inheritance from their great grandfathers. They can do anything, anytime and anyhow humanly possible to ensure the status quo is maintained. They do all these with full consciousness of the travails of those at the receiving end. So it’s obvious the feedback our political lords are getting threatens their fortune. The mad rush to silence the groans of these second class citizens gave rise to “Hate Speech Bill”.
It’s becoming vivid now I guess? I am in a haste to commit the crime (hate speech) prior to the implementation of the hate speech bill. Let’s proceed.
Below are examples of hate action and hate speech respectively
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1. Boko-Haram killings
Boko haram has abducted, raped, and killed thousands across Nigeria. Members of Boko haram have been reintegrated into Nigeria forces in their hundreds. Boko haram actions depict hatred just like the Nigerian government’s actions towards them as against other sections or groups across the country
2. Fulani herdsmen killings
Fulani herdsmen in the same view have killed hundreds across Nigeria. They have succeeded in making food scarce by grazing right inside Farmer’s farmlands
3. Police extortion points
The presence of Police extortion points across some states in Nigeria clearly depicts hate action*
4. Border closure
Closing of borders across the country, while that of Kastina and other states in the North are open, depicts hate action
5. Labeling IPOB and Shiite Muslims terror groups when Boko harm and Fulani herdsmen that have been recognized globally as terror groups are yet to be declared terror groups vividly depicts hate action.
6. The clampdown on IPOB and Shiites while treating Boko harm and Fulani herdsmen with kids gloves clearly hate action*
7. The fact that there’s no seaport, no international airport in the entire south-east region clearly depicts hate action
8. Government policies targeted at ensuring south easterners remain underdeveloped, for instance; The differences in prices of airline tickets, closing up businesses in the East to favor some individuals from the north. Etc clearly depicts hate action.
9. The oil in southern Nigeria is a national cake while gold and other minerals in the north either belong to the states or some powerful individuals also depict hate action.
Hate actions in Nigeria are not limited to the ones outlined above. Time and space will not permit me to outline all here.
1. The activities of NNAMDI KANU and IPOB
2. The activities of activists who dared speak against the status quo. Eg. Omoyele Sowore
3. Reacting to any hate action in speech form depicts hate speech. The list goes on.
Evidence abound hate speeches when critically examined are feedbacks to the various hate-filled actions currently ongoing in Nigeria and as such, is healthy for a strange entity like ours. Until Nigeria stops perpetrating hate actions against Nigerians, the hate speech bill is dead on arrival. It will only cause the masses to hate Nigeria through their actions. Believe you me, massive hate-filled action from millions of angry frustrated Nigerians will set whatever is left of Nigeria ablaze.
Hate speech bill is designed to intimidate and silence the masses who will dare speak up against the current state of the nation. I want to implore us to be on the watch; something big is about to happen. The handlers of Nigeria has this tradition of preparing for the worst through the creation of strange bills, to get themselves protected prior to the unleashing of their evil intentions at the unsuspecting citizens.
This selfish bill will not stop me or my likes from speaking up; because when you spare the pen, you punish the truth. The purported bill will only force us to go underground when we do We will become faceless which in essence is more dangerous. The pen is still mightier than the sword!.
C. Daiv (Okoro David Emeka)
(C. Daiv is a critical writer, a mastermind and an understudy of University of Nigeria)