Following public outcry on the proposed Social Media Regulation Bill, the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on Friday said it would fix a date for public hearing on the bill next week.
The bill which has been repeatedly condemned by most Nigerians (including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Nigerian Bar Association, Femi Falana, Prof. Wole Soyinka and others) passed second reading in the Senate few days ago. There’s currently a social media campaign against the bill tagged #SayNoToSocialMediaBill.
Punch reports that Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, the Chairman of the Senate Committee, promised to give notice to all relevant stakeholders ahead of the hearing of the bill because of the ongoing campaign.
“Our committee would meet next week and fix a date for the public hearing,” the senator said (as seen on Punch)
“Because of the interest that the bill has generated by the public, it would be better that we give all stakeholders sufficient notice.
“We want an adequate representation of all stakeholders, particularly from the civil society.
Senator Sani Musa, the lawmaker representing Niger East Senatorial District, during an interview on TV gave reason why the bill should be allowed. According to him the recent rumour that President Muhammadu Buhari was taking another wife which went viral on social media was a good reason for the bill to be made law.
Senator Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State had spoken against the bill during the debate on the floor of the senate. Also, Senator Bala Na’Allah drew the attention of the senate to the conflict the bill might have with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Despite the criticism and condemnation from the few senators and almost all Nigerians, most senators voted in support of the bill.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan referred the bill to the judiciary and human rights panel for further legislative action.
The panel is expected to collect the views of all stakeholders and submit a report after the public hearing.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.