Over the past few weeks, the media has been abuzz with speculations of a bill threatening free speech on social media. Rumors and speculations were rife, but the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has come out to distance himself from the bill.
The bill which is been considered by the Nigerian senate was sponsored by a Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah, proposed a two-year imprisonment and/or ₦2 million for anyone found making “false” remarks on social media especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. In one way or the other this bill equated a gag order and would have ensured we all went to jail sooner than later.
President Buhari through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, came out to say his government was sworn to defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and since freedom of speech was a constituent of the constitution, he vehemently dissociated himself with the bill.
PMB went ahead to say that free speech is central to every nation’s democracy and as long as it is within the ambit of the constitution should not be gagged.Advertisement
Now that the impending gag order has been removed, we all can return to talking constructively without fear of being jailed.
Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.