Rapper, Jude Abaga aka MI has joined voices with the Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) in order to condemn the social media bill currently on the floor of the National Assembly, describing it as draconian and a deliberate attempt to stifle the freedom of speech of Nigerians.
Abaga spoke in Lagos recently at an event themed: Discussing the Social Media Bill and its Effects. Among others he condemned the bill insisting that it should not be passed and called on the senators pushing for its passage to desist henceforth.
Speaking, Senior Legal Adviser, SERAP, Joke Fekumo said that SERAP has been at the fore front pf sensitizing Nigerians about the draconian bill. She stated that SERAP recently sent a submission to the Senate on the social media bill and one of its recommendations was that the proposed bill should be dropped because it doesn’t fit into the ideals of a democratic society built on the foundations of the rule of law.
“At SERAP, we need your collaboration and we state that if the social media bill is passed into law, our work and advocacy on freedom of expression, particularly online and media advocacy will be stifled. The implication is that citizens will be thrown into jail at the behest of non-conforming politicians, freedom of expression will be suppressed at will as there will be no voice to speak up and ultimately, it may lead Nigeria to a state of imbroglio. We are all influencers in our communities; therefore, we should go back to our domain and advocate against it. The plan is to shut the internet so that we can no longer propagate messages and speak against the ills of the society.”
In his remarks, a representative from OSIWA, Jude Iloh, charged entertainment celebrities to play their part in changing the trajectory through active engagement on various social media platforms.
“The power to change the narrative rests in our hands. The country is sliding and things are not going well. We are in a situation that is very dire, we cannot afford to keep quiet. The health and education sectors are falling. We need to change the country for our parents, friends misguided youths who have taken to crime and children living in the slums. History will not judge us well if we don’t play our role in changing things.”
He called on the citizenry to use the harshtag# leaveoursocialmedia #killthebill# in order to create awareness about the dangers of the bill.