Recently, the new and conventional media spaces were flooded with mixed reactions following the introduction of the Internet Falsehoods and Manipulations Bill at the Senate by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, from Niger State.
Sadly, the bill has been re-captioned and misinterpreted as “Anti-social Media Bill” by some persons who have not been privileged to read through the aims and objectives of the Bill.
Also, the contribution of Comrade Senator Abba Moro on the floor of the Senate when this Bill was introduced on Tuesday has been
twisted and quoted out of context on the social media by some persons, thereby generating diverse reactions and concerns from many people, especially his constituents in Benue South.
To set the record straight, there is no Bill currently before the Red Chamber tagged ‘Anti-social Media Bill’ as being widely reported in the media. This is a clear case of giving the dog a bad name just to hang it.
For avoidance of doubt and misrepresentation of facts, the aims and objectives of the newly-introduced Bill include;
(a) to prevent the transmission of false statement/declaration of facts in Nigeria and to enable measures to be taken to counter the effects of such transmission.
(b)to suppress the financing, promotion and other support of online locations that repeatedly transmit false statements/declaration in Nigeria.
(c) to enable measures to be taken to detect, control and safeguard against coordinated inauthentic behaviour and other misuses of online accounts and bots;
There is no where in the bill that says social media should be muzzled or caged.
Distinguished Senator Abba Moro had during his contribution on Tuesday affirmed that the Internet Falsehoods and Manipulations Bill was one with a good intention and would protect the society.
“One way or the other, we have been victims of the spread of falsehood and the manipulation of the internet has caused a lot of havoc to some of us.
” I believe it is intended to protect society against unscrupulous elements within the society.
“In this jet age, if we allow an unbridled manipulation of the internet and the spread of falsehood, society will be at the mercy of these elements.
” If we leave this to continue the way it is spreading, to take root in Nigeria, at a certain point, we may find it difficult to come to terms with the damage that it will do to society.” The above were the submissions of the Comrade Senator during the plenary.
Distinguished Senator Abba Moro will never be part of any Bill that will gag the press or strip Nigerians of their constitutional right of
Freedom of Speech and Expression, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
As a man who has always stood by the masses and very media friendly, Senator Moro will never, by act of commission or omission, support any action or Bill that’s aimed at muzzling the Press or silencing Nigerians; he will only continue to be a loud voice for the voiceless and defend the rights of Nigerians. He’s an active user of social media, hence, the reason he appointed an aide on social media.
However, Comrade Senator Moro, being a patriotic Nigerian, will join other well-meaning Nigerians across party, religious and tribal
lines, to support any effort by individual, group or government that is aimed at sanitizing the cyberspace and curbing speeches or publications that are fake, unfounded, injurious, hate-filled and inflammatory, to willfully, intentionally and deliberately inflict pains on, cause embarrassment, harass or blackmail the target(s), or capable of inciting a person or persons against individuals or groups, to cause hatred or enmity among Nigerians, or divide the country along tribal and religious lines.
He believes all Nigerians must work towards a peaceful, united and prosperous nation; a society that’s free of hate, malicious falsehood,
cyber fraud, willful blackmail, character assassination and cyberbullying.
The task of protecting and jealously guarding the country against divisive, malicious and mischievous elements is a task that must be done collectively.
Senator Moro would like to remind all Nigerians that no human right is absolute, noting one man’s right stops where another man’s begins.
Comrade Senator Abba Moro believes the Social Media has an important role to play in building a healthy and prosperous Nigeria.