McCormack Speaks

McCormack Staff Member Speaks to the Nigerian Government to Pass a Bill Targeting Hate Speech


by the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development

Post-it notes on bulletin board with messages of toleranceRepresenting the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development (CPDD) at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, Nigerian Program Manager Mariam Marwa-Abdu recently spoke at a one-day retreat for federal lawmakers of Nigeria’s House Committee on National Security and Intelligence as it considers a bill on religious tolerance that includes provisions targeting hate speech. Recent trends in Nigeria have seen hate speech being used as a tool for silencing targeted groups, and as a weapon to belittle, defame, and bully different groups based on their ethnicity, religion, and culture.

Marwa-Abdu, a lawyer with years of management experience in Nigerian nonprofits, oversees CPDD’s collaboration with the Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) of Kaduna, Nigeria, working to build greater peace between Muslims and Christians nationwide. In her presentation on the Religious Tolerance and Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill, which IMC and CPDD helped to draft, Marwa-Abdu sought to persuade the members of the House of Representatives on the need to consider passing the document into law. She explained that if the law is not set in place quickly, the situation is likely to deteriorate, especially as Nigeria moves toward elections in 2019. After a few hours of deliberations based on her comments, the 18 committee members agreed to use the IMC/CPDD recommendations as a working document and vowed to see that the bill is passed into law. Continue reading.



Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Skip to toolbar