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Senate adamant on bill to gag social media

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 07/12/2015

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The Nigerian Senate has asked Nigerians to stop hauling insults on senators and the upper legislative arm of the National Assembly over the anti-social media bill, which has passed a second reading in the red chamber, asking critics take advantage of the public hearing in order to ventilate their feelings on the proposed legislation.

In a statement made available to the media during the weekend by Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi, the Senate noted: “All those spreading hate campaigns as a result of the ‘Anti-frivolity Bill,’ hauling insults at and making derogatory comments on senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the institution of the Senate, are advised to key into the elaborate legislative process that a bill must pass through before becoming law, if they are interested in shaping the outcome of the bill. The process of passing a bill is comprehensive and provide for inputs to be taken from all and sundry. The first stage is merely to read the short title of the bill. The second stage is purely to debate the general principles.”

 Sabi noted that the the senate is committed to freedom of speech and a fully inclusive and participatory democracy, adding: “This is the right way to go and part of the change we all aspire for our democracy. The eighth Senate is totally committed to protecting the liberty of all Nigerians and the independence of the Senate and the legislative arm of government, as we deepen our democratic journey.”

Expatiating on the process of bill passage, the media committee chair said: “The next stage is committal of the bill to appropriate committee or committees for further detailed legislative action where the details, intendment and clause- by-clause implications of the bill are dissected by the committee. This stage also involves public hearing in which members of the public, civil society, non-governmental organisations and all interested parties for or against the bill have the opportunity to shape and influence its content.

“The outcome from this committee stage is what will be finalised and then represented to the chamber for clause-by-clause consideration and approval or disapproval by the Senate. Thereafter, if the bill is approved, then the clean version of the bill is forwarded to the House of Representatives for concurrence or otherwise.”

•Photo shows National Assembly Complex.

Source News Express

Posted 07/12/2015 3:39:31 PM





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