The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has berated the National Assembly over the re-introduction of the Hate Speech Bill by the Senate.
While speaking at a book presentation and recognition yesterday in Ibadan as part of activities marking the 70th anniversary of the Nigerian Tribune newspaper titles, the monarch insisted that anyone who could not brook criticism should not aspire for political office.
The monarch challenged lawyers and other professionals to shoot down the bill, describing the death penalty as too harsh a punishment for abuse.
“If I have not killed anyone and I give an opinion that is contrary to the government’s, will it be sufficient reason for me to be hanged? Where are the lawyers in Nigeria? Can’t they speak up? Chief Olowu, you are here.
“Nobody is speaking up. If you don’t want to be criticised, then you don’t have to be in government,” he said.
The Alaafin recalled Awolowo’s projection that if the Northerners were not educated, the Almajiri would become bandits.
“Today, in Zamfara and Yobe, the governments are now subjected to banditry. And they are exchanging these bandits, giving them money. How can the government give bandits money? That is a collapse of governance and government.”
The event was attended by former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.), Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti; legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola; former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel; former Secretary to State Government (SSG) of Oyo, Chief Michael Koleosho; and Group Managing Director of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adewale Raji.
Others include the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Editor-in-Chief of Nigerian Tribune, Edward Dickson; Professor Olu Akinkugbe, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, as well as daughters of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo; – Mrs. Tola Oyediran and Dr. Adetokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu.