Our attention has been drawn to a controversial bill making its way through the Nigerian National Assembly, aimed at gagging Nigerian citizens and threatening them with a heavy fine or a two-years imprisonment or both. The bill reminiscent of the obnoxious decree number 4, promulgated during the 18 months dictatorial regime of the current president Muhammadu Buhari, is authored by Senator Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi), of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The bill reads: “Where any person through text message, tweets, WhatsApp or through any social media post any abusive statement knowing same to be false with intent to set the public against any person and group of persons, an institution of government or such other bodies established by law shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to an imprisonment for two years or a fine of N2,000,000.00 or both fine and imprisonment.”
STORY CONTINUES AFTER THE POLL
Cognizant of the injurious and terror inducing impact the bill may have on Nigerian citizens, particularly Diaspora Nigerians, an emergency meeting of the board of trustees of the US Headquartered Diaspora Nigeria Nationals Network (DNNN) was convened on December 4, 2015 and following a lengthy deliberation and consultation with our attorneys, took the following decisions:
- Demand that the President of Nigeria’s Senate Mr Bukola Saraki kill this idiotic bill immediately, or compel us to begin a process of including all senators that vote for this bill, their families and relevant associates on the international-no-fly list, as they could constitute danger to the freedoms and lives of Nigerians including those beyond Nigeria’s borders whose views they find offensive.
- Request meetings with the US Secretaries of State Mr. John Kerry and Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, to present our petition accordingly and initiate the above sanctioning process against the targeted law makers, their families and relevant associates.
Enough of the foolishness!
Dr. Daniel Udia, Executive Director
Dr (Mrs) Brigit Edevor, Executive Secretary
Mr. David Azinge, Regional Director, Europe
Mr. Uzoma Njoku, Regional Director, Asia
Prof. Eddie Oparaoji, Regional Director, The Americas
Dr. Seyi Leggon, Regional Director, Africa and the Middle East