The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata has said the timing of the Federal Government to further regulate social media is suspicious and wrong.
Gracing an interview on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, Apata who admitted that there are people who are “irresponsible” in their usage of social media, noted that the country has laws to deal with such kind of persons.
“I struggle with the terms that we bandy around. Like I said, I think the social media space is regulated already,” he said when asked if social media need further regulation.”
“Are we saying regulate or shutdown? What are we saying because we hear them using regulate? We hear the minister of Information use the word ‘sanitize.’ I just say to myself, ‘what are we trying to do?’ The timing is suspicious.”
He further argued, “And if we need to tweak the laws here and there, as we amend our laws every day to meet with issues that may come up that were not previously contemplated, we are all well and good,”
“But it is not throwing out the baby and the bathwater approach like I suspect that is in contemplation by those who are handling the levers of power today. That is not going to work
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed reiterated that the federal government will only regulate social media and not shut it down.
Speaking during a solidarity visit to Vintage Press Limited, the publishers of The Nation newspapers and Sporting Life who were affected by the #EndSARS unrests, Mohammed stressed that “the government will continue to support responsible journalism”.
He also revealed that they have reached out to all the major stakeholders, including Google, Facebook, NUJ, Guild of Editors, bloggers and social media influencers to fashion out a policy that will make social media platforms responsible.
However, since the proposition of the bill at the Senate, many Nigerians have kicked against it.
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