Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) on Monday called on the general public and the media to engage the Senate in a peaceful and lawful manner to ensure the withdrawal of the bill proposed by the lawmakers to regulate the social media.
The call was made in a statement issued and signed by CITAD Executive Director Y.Z Ya’u and forwarded to Solacebase.com.
According to the statement, the proposed bill is an agenda to suppress the voice of the citizens demanding accountability and respect for the rule of law and human rights.
It noted that, the Nigerian security agencies who have been harassing, detaining individuals without court order/defying court orders, killing unarmed citizens both at peaceful protests and checkpoints have also hidden behind the senate to introduce a law that will give them more power in incarcerating and denying the citizens their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
‘’There are already existing laws in the county, such as cybercrime act that deals with issues of this regard, which if properly put into action will address the issue of disseminating fake news and hate speech on social media in the country, ‘’said the statement.
According to the statement, the proposed bill has violated the 1999 constitutional provision of Nigerian citizens.
“However, it is good to note that in section 39 of the 1999 constitution as amended, it is clearly stated that “every citizen shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas without interference” it continues in sub section 2 of the same section that “…every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions,” it stated.
It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to disassociate himself from this wicked bill introduced by the senate in connivance with security agencies stressing that, all civil society organizations and lovers of democracy in the country should rise up and condemn the bill and speak out to their representatives not to support the bill.
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