95 coalitions warn Senate against passage of social media bill

Ahead of the Senate public hearing slated for March 9, 2020 on the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations; and for Related matters Bill, 2019 (SB.132), 95 civil Society Organisations, have warned that the senate stands to incur the wrath of the people if it goes ahead to pass the bill as it has been widely rejected by the people.

It says the senate must reject the Bill, as it is unconstitutional and inconsistent with Nigeria’s international obligations.

The coalitions include Center For Liberty, Centre for Democracy and Development, Girl Child Africa, Enough is Enough Nigeria, Global Rights, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Oxfam Nigeria, Concerned Nigeria, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Widows Development Organisation, #BringBackOurGirls and others

In a statement signed by the bodies and made available to The Guardian, it says the bill, which targets the Internet and online media platforms, was dropped by the eighth Senate following public outcry.

Calling on the ninth Assembly to prove it’s not a rubberstamp for the presidency as alleged and urging them to take a cue from the leadership style of the eighth assembly, the group said, “We urge this Senate to take historical note of how previous sessions of the National Assembly sided with the people and resisted executive overbearing and repression, thereby safeguarding the civic space and ensuring respect for Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.”

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