The proposed bills on social media regulation and hate speech would not add any value to the nation, a civil society organization said on Monday.
The group, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, had at a news conference in Abuja, described the legislations as ill-conceived and an assault on the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of citizens to freedom of speech.
The Executive Director of CHRICED, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, noted that the Nigerian Cybercrime Act, 2015, had sufficient provisions to address the gaps in the misuse of social media.
He said: “While we do not in any way endorse the use of social media to promote hate speech, fake news, and disinformation, it is an over-reach for political actors to use legislative power to deny the rights of citizens to free expression.”
Zikirullahi said the country leaders are using their political power to impose “draconian legislation” on Nigerians.
“The champions of these legislations do not seem to realize that if they do not tread with caution, they could someday become victims of the very legislations they are attempting to enact to harass other citizens,” he added.
The activist advised the arrowheads of the discredited bills to shift their focus to more productive ventures, including enacting of laws to tackle the dilapidated health infrastructure, collapsed education system, poverty, crimes, unemployment, corruption, and terrorism in the country.
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...