The Nigerian Senate has is set to pass the Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and Other Related Matters Bill 2019 popularly known as the social media bill, despite public outcry, according to SaharaReporters.
Most Nigerians are of the opinion that the bill is set to fight free speech. The bill was introduced to the Senate on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 and sponsored by Mohammed Sani Musa, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Niger East Senatorial District.
According to the senate, the bill is set to regulate the use of social media in Nigeria and curb fake news on the internet. If passed into law, the bill seeks to prevent falsehoods and manipulations and counter the effects of such communications and transmission to sanction offenders with a view of encouraging and enhancing transparency by social media platforms using the internet correspondences.
When a similar anti-social media bill introduced by the previous eighth Senate, it also sparked outrage across the country, before it was later withdrawn.
A fresh report by SaharaReporters has now claimed that the Nigerian Senate has concluded a “signed, sealed and delivered” plot to pass the social media bill once the it resumes plenary on September 15.
According to a top source in the Senate, who pleaded anonymity, the upper legislative arm is determined to pass the heinous bill despite the immense rejection by majority of Nigerians.
“They have already concluded plans to pass the bill. They are going to hide behind the COVID-19 issue and other national issues and pass the bill without delay. Their plan is to do it once they resume. It is already signed,” the source told the media outlet.