Founder and General overseer Of the Living Faith Church, a.k.a. Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has described the controversial Hate Speech Bill as a ‘crazy idea.’
The cleric, who claimed the aim of the bill was to silence Nigerians boasted that no one can silence a man of God because he is called by God.
Speaking at Shiloh 2019 tagged ‘Breaking limit, Oyedepo said “Hate speech is one of the most crazy idea ever.
“You say something truthful about them and they call it is hate speech? You can’t silence a man of God because he is called by God.
“A prophet is answerable to God only, what God tells him he will say. You cannot stand for God and be a loser.
“I don’t know if anyone loves Nigeria more than I do. Imagine they are not hanging killers, they want to hang ‘hate speakers?
“ Anyways that is dead already, if the wicked will not stop his wickedness God will stop his wickedness.”
Meanwhile, Political Officer of the Embassy of the United States of America, Jerry Howard, yesterday , reportedly described the Hate Speech Bill before the National Assembly as an “impressive” piece of legislation needed to address issues of discrimination, hostility and violence in Nigeria.
According to a statement released by the Media Office of Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, and signed by Oluyinka Akintunde, Howard stated this yesterday during a meeting with the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate and sponsor of the Hate Speech bill, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, at the National Assembly, Abuja.
According to the United States Embassy official, the visit was intended to engage Sabi Abdullahi and to seek an understanding of the proposed legislation under consideration by the Senate.
Following explanations by Senator Abdullahi on the bill, Mr. Howard described the response of the media as “misleading” and “hysterical,” compared to what it actually seeks to achieve.
He, therefore, advised the sponsor of the bill to engage and educate non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations in the country on its proposed contents so as to muster support for it.
Speaking on the decision of the US Embassy to engage the National Assembly on the Hate Speech bill, Howard said, “We want Nigeria to succeed and we think a prerequisite for Nigeria’s success is successful democracy.
“For democracy to succeed, the people must have a house, the people must have a place where their representatives can argue and complain, come up with new ideas and come up with solutions to guide the executive branch and lead the country forward.”
He commended the lawmaker for the level of work and research carried out on the bill.
“I’m very impressed with the research you’ve done on the bill. The media has had a field day with this, really.
“You’ve thought it through. I was depending on the media for my education, and it was very misleading. You’ve done your research and it is very interesting.
“But you have a difficult job selling this to the NGOs, CSOs. You need to talk to them. You’ll need to talk to civil society organisations, you need to educate them.
“You’ve educated me,” Howard said after Senator Abdullahi explained the contents of the bill to him.
Earlier, speaking on why he decided to introduce the bill, the lawmaker said, “Part of the reasons why violence takes place is attributable to discriminatory practices.
“It is discrimination that creates the socio-political imbalance that you see leading to a group feeling shortchanged and marginalised.
“Discrimination is also another very serious matter why I sponsored the bill. This bill basically is about preventing discrimination, and prohibiting people who incite violence,” he explained.
Abdullahi further stated that the bill’s introduction by the National Assembly has the backing of Section 45 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
The Section states: “Nothing in Sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society; in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom or other persons.”
On measures in place to ensure that the bill is not abused by politicians, Senator Abdullahi explained that “an Independent Commission shall be constituted and whose membership will be restricted to persons without any history of promoting ethnic or religious causes, or anyone with political affiliations.”
He added that the passage of the Bill by the National Assembly into law will address all forms of discrimination, hostility and violence which are on the rise in the country.
‘IAUE’s Post Graduate School’ll Be A Class Of Its Own’
On completion of the Post Graduate School Complex of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Rumuolumeni, the complex will be in a class of its own in Nigeria.
Making this Known recently, during the colloquium held in honour of late Chief Emmanuel W. Aguma, at the auditorium of the university, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, said the facilities at the graduate school are all state-of-the art.
“The Postgraduate school is where we are working very hard to make a difference. We are just three years old, but we have dwarfed and overtaken most of the older Universities around us in postgraduate studies.
“Whereas most of the universities around us have no separate classrooms for graduate programmes, we have built 16 new postgraduate classrooms fitted with modern, Wi-Fi, air- conditioners, and small boards, all within the three years of our administration”, he said.
He continued that “When the complex is ready, our postgraduate school will pride as the best accommodated and the most well equipped in Nigeria in terms of infrastructure”. Prof. Ndimele used the occasion to thank the Aguma family for contributing a 10 lecture halls building to the graduate school in their pursuit of academic excellence.
“ It is gratifying to note that today’s ceremony is in two phases: The first phase is what we are doing now, that is the colloquium, where experts and close associates of the late Chief Emmanuel W. Aguma have been assembled to present on the life and times of the legend himself and much more.
“The second phase of today’s event is the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed Chief Emmanuel Aguma Post Graduate Complex, comprising 10 lecture halls, a language laboratory and offices at the New Haven Layout of the main campus.
“All these are courtesy of the Late Chief Emmanuel Aguma’s family to further immortalise their son, husband and father. We cannot thank the family enough”, he said.
In his presentation, as one of the guest speakers at the colloquium, Chief Emmanuel Aguma delved into the life and times of the Late Aguma from the political perspective.
The life and times and achievement of Sir Aguma is no doubt very important references to the younger generation.
“I have taken pains to go through all these for younger generation to know that here in Rebisi, God Almighty had created a rare human being who realised that mandate of a people is a sacred commission to serve with honour, integrity and truth”, he stated.
Late Chief Emmanuel Aguma was the first provost of the College of Education, which metamorphosed into Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
RATTAWU Wants Regularisation Of Casual Workers’ Appointment In S’ South
The South-South National Vice President of RATTAWU, Comrade Christian Saro Gonole, has called for the regularisation of the appointment of all casual workers in the services of state owned media and cultural outfits across the South-South Zone.
South-South National Vice President of RATTAWU Comrade Christian Saro Gonole made the call at the 8th Triennial Delta State Delegates Conference of the Union in Asaba.
Comrade Christain Saro Gonole who described the continuous casualisation of its members as a direct rape on the right of employment called for the understanding of respective state Governments in the South-South Zone in the regularisation of the casual workers with dispatch.
The South-South RATTAWU leader said the engagement of a casual worker more than three months tantamount to the denial of the affected worker of his right to gainful employment and violates extant labour laws.
Insecurity, Killings In Nigeria, Worrisome -Catholic Bishop
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has decried the spate of killings across the country.
The Bishop made a call for the establishment of local and state security organs to tackle security challenges in all parts of the country.
Bishop Ezeokafor made the call in a homily he delivered recently, during the burial Mass of late Mrs Rebecca Mgboye Amatu (mother of the Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese, Most Rev Solomon Amatu), at St Simon’s Catholic Church, Ukpo, Anambra State.
He said there was urgent need for local security apparatus in all the six regions and the 36 states of Nigeria in order to augment the federal security.
He said, “We regret the recent murder of the former chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mr Lawan Andimi, by suspected terrorists. We regret that the sacredness of human life had been ridiculed in this country.”
“The manner in which Mr Andimi was butchered is inhuman. The sacredness of the human life had been desecrated. Human beings are being slaughtered regularly by terrorists who are suspected to have targeted the Christians. Security of life and property can no longer be guaranteed in Nigeria. Worse still is that the Federal Government has not been able to address the menace of insecurity,” the bishop stated.
He said the Federal Government ought to support the local security apparatus like Amotekun instituted by governors of the West so as to ensure that optimum security was maintained. This was even as he called for effective local security system in other regions of Nigeria.
Bishop Ezeokafor recalled how two priests of the Catholic Diocese of Awka were kidnapped in Ondo State and were rescued, using the Anambra State Government’s security apparatus,.
He praised Anambra as being relatively safe, compared to other states of the federation.
He commended Gov Obiano of Anambra State and stressed the need for such good security network to be replicated in other states of Nigeria.
The Catholic prelate called on the government at all levels to provide enabling environment for security of life and property, as well as the necessary amenities the masses needed to enjoy their lives.
He said any government that was unable to better the lives of its citizens should surrender governance.
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