Sponsors of the social media and anti-hate speech bills yesterday rejected calls for the withdrawal of the social media regulation and anti-hate speech bills in the Senate. The Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill and Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill were sponsored by senators Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) and Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East) respectively.
At a Town Hall meeting on Social Media and anti-Hate Speech Bills organised by African Independent Television (AIT) in Abuja, many in the audience who spoke at a panel session bashed the two senators for sponsoring the bills and asked them to drop them. They said efforts should be made to make laws that would address the myriad of problems bedevilling the country.
But the lawmakers insisted that Nigerians would align with them on the bills if they go through the contents.
Earlier, Senate President Ahmed Lawan said the ninth National Assembly is open to ideas on the bills and others.
“Good policy directions and decisions come through a rigorous process of debate, and with participation from all shades of opinion. Shutting down views, or making assumptions on what people will say or might not say, is not a good way to expand the range of thoughts and arguments that could form part of the decision-making process,” he said.