Count me out of social media bill, says Governor Makinde

Count me out of social media bill, says Governor Makinde

- The social media bill is still a trending topic in Nigeria at the moment

- Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has clarified his stance on the issue

- The governor made the clarification following reports of political leaders from the southwest supporting the bill

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Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde has distanced himself from the proposed clampdown on social media through regulation.

He also denied media reports that his colleagues in the southwest voted in favour of the controversial social media regulation bill.

Makinde said the southeast governors only resolved the existing Cybercrime Act (Cybercrime Prohibition Prevention Act, 2015) should be allowed to take its course instead of duplicating an existing law in the name of social media bill.

Count me out of social media bill, says Governor Makinde
Governor Makinde has made clarifications on the stance of southwest governors concerning the social media bill. Photo credit: @seyiamakinde
Source: UGC

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He made the comments on Tuesday, November 10 while inaugurating an 11-man judicial panel at his office in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

His words:

“Let me categorically state that as far as I know, there was no such communiqué from the southwest governors that I am part of.
“Yes, I was in Lagos on Sunday, we did hold a meeting but our agreement at the meeting was that we already have an existing Cybercrime Act (Cybercrime Prohibition Prevention Act, 2015), so there was no need for any further duplicity in terms of a specific social media bill.
“So, should anyone choose to sponsor such, I should be categorically be counted out. Because the cybercrime act is extensive enough and covers any issues that any so-called social media bill may seek to address.”

The panel is chaired by a retired Chief Judge, Justice Badejoko Adeniji while Mrs. Oluwafolake Ogundele, an Assistant Director, Department of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Justice is to serve as Secretary.

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Makinde said about 50 petitions have been received through the official portal created for members of the public to register their complaints.

Meanwhile, Nigerians continue to oppose the proposed social media bill. On Twitter, many are still calling on the government to forget the idea.

Mide Akins wrote on Twitter:

“The focus of Nigeria shouldn’t even be a social media bill. Bandits have taken over places in the north and ask for ransoms! Don’t forget Boko Haram. Insecurity is a big issue. Do we talk about electricity in Nigeria? Rather we are more focused on a social media bill.”

Habeeb Abdulquadry wrote:

“We'll have to occupy the National Assembly and tell each of our representatives that if they ever vote to support this slavery, they shouldn't ever come home.”

Recall that governors of northern states recently called for the censorship of social media, saying it helps in the spread of fake news across the country.

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At a meeting in Kaduna state on Monday, November 2, the governors said the effect of uncontrolled social media is devastating, adding that some people took advantage of the recent #EndSARS protests to push for Nigeria's disintegration.

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