Anti-social media bill: IPI hails Buhari, tasks House of Reps


anti social billNigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI) has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’ s swift anticipatory veto on the Nigerian Senate’s bill to criminalise social media practice.
Chairman of the institute, Kabiri Yusuf, in a statement said the bill, “deceptively tagged “Frivolous Petitions Bill” is actually targeted at muzzling free speech; with no intrinsic value whatsoever.
The IPI boss said it was instructive that the president and his government have lately been at the receiving end of the critical social media. He noted that Buhari had resisted the temptation to go after his critics as he has also rebuffed Senate’s bid to lure him into an unwholesome anti-media dragnet.
“Following the president’ s patriotic footsteps, IPI urges the House of Representatives to ignore the bill if it ever gets to its hallowed chamber. Already, the presidential pronouncement has rendered any passage of the bill an exercise in futility,” Yusuf said.
Like the mainstream media, the social media platforms are in need of self- regulation and should embrace best practices but they cannot resort to regulation by toxic legislation.
The body urged the Senate to discountenance the bill, which it described as unnecessary.
“The senate has lately made some pronouncements to the effect that those opposed to the bill can make inputs into it.  Distinguished Senators, that’s unnecessary. The people’s right to free speech is inviolable. There are existing laws to deal with media imperfections. Don’t amend, just drop the anti-social media bill altogether.”