CSOs condemn social media bill
By Nasiru Yusuf Tsakuwa
The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the protection of civic space has expressed satisfaction with Nigerians’ outcry against social media bill during public hearing.
The group which comprises of 133 CSOs noted: “From the public hearing, which was broadcast live in Nigeria and to the world, the fair conclusion of the majority of views collated is that the bill must be withdrawn and trashed by the Ninth Assembly.
“It is with great optimism that we wish to express our satisfaction with the preponderance of views and arguments against the Protection from Internet Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (a.k.a. Social Media Bill) during the Public Hearing at the Nigerian Senate on Monday, March 9, 2020.
“It has now become abundantly clear to everyone, and particularly to Senator Muhammad Sani Musa -the sponsor of the Social Media Bill -and other Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that the majority of views and arguments canvassed during the Public Hearing overwhelmingly indicates the resistance, disapproval, condemnation and outright rejection of the bill as it has no place in Nigeria,” the group said.
The group expressed appreciation on the open and cordial efforts of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and urged the committee to report to the Senate the overwhelming condemnation of the Social Media Bill by Nigerians during the Public Hearing.
The CSOs reminded the Senate that their subsequent deliberations on the Social Media Bill will be keenly followed and monitored by the people to ensure that “we resist any attempt to undermine the established principle of rule of law and protection of fundamental human rights.”
“With the latest development, it is also our view that the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters now has a golden chance to equally prevail on the Ninth Assembly to drop other anti-people bills like the ‘Hate Speech Bill’ and the ‘NGO Bill’ that intend to further shrink Nigeria’s civic space and undermine her democracy,” it added.
The civil society organisations appealed to the Ninth Assembly to carve its name in gold in the annals of history and be recorded as a House that stood firmly with the people during a very trying time for Nigeria’s democracy.