Rights Group Urges National Assembly To Prioritise Citizens’ Freedom Through Good Bills

A non-governmental organisation, Center for Liberty, has called on the National Assembly to promote the rights of Nigerians by shunning bills that seek to threaten their freedom in any form.

The group added that it had commenced a digital freedom advocacy aimed at facilitating citizens’ engagement on digital freedom with the specific goal of ensuring the withdrawal of legislative bills threatening people’s rights.

In a statement jointly signed by the Project Coordinator, Adebayo Raphael, and Assistant Project Coordinator, Maryam Ahmed, on Tuesday in Abuja, the group said the platform would guarantee freedom of expression in the country. 

The statement reads, “The Digital Freedom Advocacy is a citizens-led intervention that will be implemented using the hashtag #InternetNoBeEnemy to mobilise Nigerians to ensure the withdrawal of the ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019’.

“It is for this reason that we wish to urge the Nigerian Senate to immediately kill the social media bill and the hate speech bill, as their existence in the legislative chamber would continue to pose danger to democratic security and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of all Nigerians including lawmakers.”

CFL noted that digital platforms including social media in Nigeria have been well accentuated throughout Nigeria’s response and fight against COVID-19 so far.

The group added that social media and other digital platforms have created more awareness and widespread reporting of human rights violations, security challenges and economic crisis in the country.

The statement therefore noted that it would amount to a grave mistake for the Nigerian Senate to make the country vulnerable to a potential global health, economic or political crisis as a result of the passage of the social media and hate speech bill.

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