Shehu Sani is a Nigerian senator, an author, playwright and a human rights activist. He is President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria (CRCN) and the Chairman of Hand-in-Hand, Africa. He was a leading figure in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.
Ssenator Sani has made his thoughts known on the hate speech bill to the public, the passage of the widely criticized Hate speech bill was sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi of Niger State.
According to him, the bill will not be doing Nigeria any good it will only take away freedom of speech. He also pointed out that all abandoned prisons in Nigeria will be filled with Nigerian blogger and political opposition because of they are always ready to voice out their thought concerning certain political actions.
He said he is not against the elimination of hate speech but they should not make it take away freedom of speech.
This is his message, “Most people in Power are intolerant to criticism and allergic to dissent to be trusted with a capital punishment for Hate speech. The law against Hate speech will be used against free speech. Many critics and social media enthusiasts will end up in the gallows. Our condemned cells in the prisons will be filled with bloggers, critics and perceived political opponents. We must fight Hate speech, Hate speech is a real threat to peace, unity and order of a nation but we must protect free speech. Free speech is the shield of the oppressed. When you have state police and you have capital punishment for Hate speech, you will have tyranny and terror as a state policy. People in power should think twice about what they do with power as someday they will be out of power. A democratic state must balance its security exigencies with its constitutional obligations and moral duty to uphold the rule of law and respect fundamental rights of its citizens. If you are in public office and you don’t want to be criticized or challenged, please dismount and go back to your family where you can be an imperial emperor.”
He is currently the Senate Committee Chairman on Local & Foreign Debts and also serves as the Vice Chairman on Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He has been arrested and jailed by past successive military regimes in Nigeria. He was released from life imprisonment when Democracy was restored in Nigeria in 1999. He contested and won the Kaduna Central Senatorial District on 28 March 2015.