FG planning to gag Nigerians with unfriendly laws, says CAN

FG planning to gag Nigerians with unfriendly laws, says CAN

- The hate speech and social media bills in the Nigerian Senate continues to generate reactions

- The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has asked the federal government to do away with the bills

- CAN encouraged governments at all levels and National Assembly members to pay greater attention to other issues that bedevil the nation

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has asked the federal government to do away with the controversial social media and hate speech bills currently being considered at the National Assembly.

The highest Christian body in Nigeria, said the bills were purposely designed to gag Nigerians and deny freedom to speak on matters that affect their lives in all spheres.

CAN further stated that the recent action of government was meant to distract them from discussing topical issues that have direct effect on survival and wellbeing such as poverty, corruption, and the provision of good health facilities, etc.

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In a statement sent to journalists on Thursday, November 28, CAN's diretor of legal and public affairs, Kwamkur Vondip said the religious body was deeply concerned about the ongoing national debates and outcry over the proposed bill.

CAN encouraged governments at all levels and National Assembly members to pay greater attention to issues of insecurity, economic hardship, poverty, bad roads, poor education, dearth of infrastructure, and not on issues that temper with fundamental rights of the Nigerian people.

CAN further appealed to lawmakers to discountenance the two bills and put off completely any contemplation to pass them into Acts.

“We have sufficient laws that could be used to check excesses of individuals and organisations that are misusing social media and propagating hate speeches,” the statement concluded.

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Nigerians recently took to social media to reject the hate speech and social bills in the Nigerian Senate.

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Many Nigerians have expressed their reservations concerning the bills, especially how it violates their fundamental right of freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said the only people worried about the proposed social media bill are purveyors of fake news and hate speech.

The minister made the comment on Monday, November 18 when he recieved a delegation from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its national president, Mr. Chris Isiguzo.

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