OrderPaperToday – President Muhammadu Buhari will not assent to the anti-social media bill that has scaled second reading in the Senate.
This position was made public by Senior Special Assistant on Media to the President, Mr. Garba Shehu in a statement released in Abuja today.
The presidency said Buhari was mindful of the constitutional requirement of free speech in a democracy and would not be party to any attempt to muzzle the citizenry from expressing themselves in public.
While stating that the president “is not averse to lawful regulation so long as that is done within the ambit of the constitution which he swore to uphold,” the statement made it clear that “the President won’t assent to any legislation that may be inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria.”
“As a key component of democratic principles,” adherents of democracy “are so emotionally attached to free speech that they would defend it with all their might.”
The Frivolous Petitions bill which has a component that seeks to imprison those who make false or abusive posts on social and traditional media is sponsored by Sen. Bala Na’Allah and has passed second reading.