Social media bill splits APC

The rising tension on two bills the National Assembly is debating is already creating crack among the bigwig of the ruling APC.

Party leader and Ogun former Gov. Olusegun Osoba has been criticizing the Hate Speech Bill and the Social Media Bill two senators recently sponsored. The former governor didn’t spare the sponsors either.

Speaking on the theme, “Re-inventing the practice of Journalism in Nigeria with emphasis on the influence of the Social Media”, Osoba taunted the Senators, asking if the lawmakers or their forefathers did participate in the struggle for independence and democracy in Nigeria.

“We (media practitioners) don’t deserve this treatment from Senators who are now enjoying the benefit of the war that we waged against the military to entrench democracy in Nigeria,” Osoba said this during an event commemorating 160 years of journalism in Nigeria in Abeokuta on Monday.

But the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, in his own speech on same occasion, supported the bills.

A statement from Kunle Somorin, his chief press secretary, also quoted the governor as saying such law will hold citizen journalists accountable.

Abiodun said while he does not support extreme measures like death penalty for offences like misinformation, the law will end the “rise of malicious and deliberate misinformation by some unethical social media users.”

He accused some persons of misusing information to target other Nigerians “for character assassination and portray people in bad light.”

“The idea is not to gag the media in any form or manner, but to ensure that the media is held responsible for carrying out their responsibility; and of cause, the issue of death penalty is not called for,” he said.

The Hate Speech Bill has gone through its second reading in the Senate, in spite of public outcries trailing it.

1 COMMENT

  1. We need to ask these senators whether they are military senators. Even the 1999 constitution/decree did not approve this. They will loose their seats next elections and will become like any ordinary man and this decree will catch them badest. I pity the country because the leader s have no good plans in their agendas. If this become a law in this country, them note that we have all belong or become bokoharam /terrorists without recruitments. I will advice our senators to abandon this Ebola bill and go for bills for our nuclear, industry and education bills. You know any evil thing is easy to adopt but the days of reckoning is coming.

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