Our leaders are gagging us through the Social Media Bill and Hate Speech Bill - Nigerian youths.

Nigerian youths are protesting an attempt to gag them and deprive them of their freedom of speech through the promulgation of the Social Media Bill and Hate Speech Bill in the Senate.

Hear them: “These unpleasant developments followed the lingering legislative consideration of the Social Media Bill and Hate Speech Bill seeking to criminalize freedom of expression and punish citizens for freely expressing themselves.

The protesters, who held balloons during their protests, also urged the Nigerian Senate to “kill the social media bill”.

The protest tagged ‘#NotYetIndependent’ held in Lagos, Abuja, Yola, Benue, Bauchi, Benin, Auchi, and Iseyin.

In a statement jointly signed by Adebayo Raphael, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, and Deji Adeyanju, who are the co-conveners of the group on Friday, the Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, also known as Centre for Liberty, said the protest was organized against impunity, injustice, bad policies, and bad leadership in Nigeria.

They wrote: “We recall that between March 19, 2020 and now, the price of petrol being sold to ordinary Nigerians has gone from N121.50 to N162 or more in some places. In the same vein, the tariff for electricity was increased by 100 per cent, taking effect from September 1, 2020, and adding salt to the injury of economic hardship of Nigerians.

“And as if those weren’t enough, the government hurriedly passed a bill that will ensure the disappearance of the third sector in Nigeria into law; the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, was passed by the National Assembly and became law upon President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent on August 7, 2020.

“The obnoxious provisions in the CAMA Act that undermines nongovernmental organizations, and also the entire provisions of the social media bill and hate speech bill, are legislations worse than colonial edicts and laws, and they seek to subjugate rightsholders and put them at mercies of the ruling elites.”


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