Lanre Arogundade, the director of the International Press Centre, says the attempt to establish a commission for the regulation of hate speech is a waste of Nigeria’s resources.
Arogundade, while speaking in an interview with Arise TV, said Nigerian lawmakers’ consideration of bill did not make any sense.
“The fact that our senate wants to establish a national commission for the prohibition of whatever they call hate speech, and my first instinct would be to say that this will be an absolute waste of public resources,” he said.
He said at the time that the country is grappling with serious financial needs for infrastructural development, a commission to regulate hate speech is “absolute balderdash and arrant nonsense”.
He said the crusaders of democracy in Nigeria did not fight for independence just to have the legislators gag the freedom that was fought for.
He suggested that the national broadcasting policy could be amended to accommodate regulation of the internet and social media use.
Arogundade added that for the proper regulation of hate speech, multiple stakeholders, across human groups and sectors must be involved and considered.
He said corrupt politicians looting the country should be the ones to get a life sentence, adding that there are more important matters to be considered in the country.
The IPC director explained that the incidents of hate speech documented in the past was perpetrated mostly by agencies of government, particularly their spokespersons and political parties.