Proposed social media bill poses serious threat to freedom expression-Shehu Sani
The Senator, who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has described the social media regulation bill in the red chamber as a serious threat to the fundamental rights of Nigerians.
The lawmaker who is also the Executive Director African Centre for Peace and Development in a statement on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 said the quest to regulate the social media is a grand plan to silence critics and dissenting voices.
Sani recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari was as once a victim of abuse of power and as such, he must be conscious of his place in history and legacies on human rights and the rule of law. He wondered why the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which got to power in 2015 largely due to social media support, was now trying to gag their activities.
Sani who noted that any law aimed at limiting the rights and freedoms of citizens to express their views is aimed at building a tower of tyranny, however urged the parliament not to aide and abet the executive desire to emasculate freedom of speech.
He said, “The Bill on the regulation of social media poses a serious threat and danger to freedom of speech and expression…The quest to regulate social media is a grand plan to silence critics and dissenting voices. Combatting hate speech is a smokescreen to annihilate free speech.”
“Any law aimed at limiting the rights and freedoms of citizens to express their views is aimed at building a tower of tyranny.
“It’s ironic that a government that came to power on the promise of protecting the fundamental rights of Nigerians is now reneging and sliding towards totalitarianism.
“Silencing dissent endangers democracy.”
He noted that President Buhari, who was once a victim of abuse of power must be conscious of his place in history and legacies on human rights and the rule of law.
He further said, “Disobedience of court orders demonises a country and criminalises a government…Nigeria’s democracy is threatened by the authoritarian tendencies of the people in power.”
Sani demanded the immediate release of Omoyele Sowore and all those still being held despite a valid court order.
He said, “There is a cloud of fear over our country and the moral flag of our democracy is lowered to half staff. There is the urgency to defend our freedom and democracy against those standing against it. Sowore and all those still held against a valid court order for their release should be freed,” he said.