By Temitayo Peters
OrderPaperToday – For sponsoring and supporting the controversial frivolous petitions bill in the senate, Senators Bala Na’Allah and Dino Melaye have been described as ingrates who used the power of the social media to attain public office but now want to gag same.
Member representing Epe Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Segun Olulade stated this in his reaction to the furore generated by the bill which scaled second reading in the senate last week.
Olulade, who expressed disappointment at the move by the Senators, advised the senate in the interest of the nation, to do away with the controversial legislation if it is eventually brought up for third reading.
“Now that we are in power, Senator Na’Allah and his likes should not paint those of us in the APC as ingrates to Nigerians and the whole world,” he said, adding that “If the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan could not stop the use of social media, then it shouldn’t be this administration.”
The lawmaker, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Health, explained that such a bill if passed into law, will amount to gagging the media and free speech, which is enshrined in the country’s 1999 constitution (as amended).
While expressing optimism that the bill will not see the light of the day, he advised the sponsor of the bill, Senator Na’Allah that “there are better bills the Senator can sponsor, which will improve the well-being of his people.
“It is so sad and unfortunate that all Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah could think of is a bill that will restrict our people from expressing their views about those of us in government.
“I think Senator Na’Allah should be reminded that this same social media played a very pivotal role in removing the government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Nigerians also used this same social media to campaign vigorously for the All Progressives Congress (APC) for us to get to power.”
Mr. Olulade did not also spare Sen. Melaye. “Last week, I heard Senator Dino Melaye claiming that false stories have been published against him and the Senate by some online media. If this is true, Senator Dino should do the right thing by taking legal action against such medium instead of making attempt to gag them generally.
“Any Senator that has any issue with any online medium should deem it fit to sue such medium. The social media have become a platform through which our people react to and condemn some of the policies we make as governments and we shouldn’t make any attempt to frustrate this.”
While urging the Senators not to pass any controversial bill that may lead to breakdown of law and order, he called on them to explain to Nigerians what purpose the bill would serve in the current fight against corruption.
He therefore called on the Senators to focus on more pressing issues of terrorism by Boko Haram, youth unemployment, increasing destitution, communal violence, corruption and rising crimes in the country while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for coming out to denounce the proposed bill.