Nigeria: Hate Speech Bill - Nigeria Back to Dictatorship, Says Archbishop Obinna

2 December 2019

Owerri — The Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna has said that the country is gradually drifting to military-like dictatorship if the proposed hate speech bill before the National Assembly is allowed to succeed.

The cleric who was delivering a homily yesterday, December 1, 2019 at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish, Owerri during the mass to inaugurate the Catholic Lawyers Association of Nigeria declared that many things are going wrong in the country as a result of bad leadership.

According to him, reckless killing of people are going on everyday, kidnapping is the order of the day, all form of criminal activities have taken root in the country and the people are helpless as if there is no democratic government that is engineered with the rule of law.

"We seem to be under military rule. We are unjustly ruled through military-like dictatorship. You cannot unjustly introduce a bill for hate speech and against the social media. Christ himself who is the supreme justice suffered not only hate speech but physical abuse, hence he was crucified on the Cross for our sake.

"We are facing tyranny in Nigeria and we just had it in Imo state until the last election when we were liberated from unjust governance. Nigeria has a hateful attitude that prevents the unity of the country", the vocal cleric observed.

He wondered how a country would allow her citizens die like chickens, citing ugly example of the gruesome murder of the woman leader of a political party in the just concluded Kogi governorship election as well as the recent kidnap of an Appeal Court justice in Benin City with the Police orderly killed.

Archbishop Obinna urged Nigerians and her leaders to use the opportunity provided by the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas) to liberate the country and make peace with the Lord.

He advised lawyers and justices to apply the fear of God when adjudicating justice on Nigerians, adding "you are called to continue to do good whether in the day or night".

The Archbishop, however, appealed to the members of the National Assembly to jettison the issue of hate speech and social media bill and give Nigerians laws that would promote unity, peace and justice.

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