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Why Celebrities, Stakeholders Knock Social Media Regulation Bill

-By Adeniyi Onifade

Celebrities and stakeholders all over the country have frowned at the proposed plan by the Nigerian senate to introduce a social media regulation bill

Also, Ngerians have been reacting angrily to a draft bill being discussed in the Senate which proposes a framework and system of regulation, control and conduct; the use of the internet and various social platforms in the transmission of information in Nigeria.


The bill which was sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa from Niger State is aimed at checkmating post and comments made by Nigerians on the internet.

Social media users on the microblogging platform, Twitter have been using #SayNoToSocialMediaBill to campaign against the proposal.

Nigerian celebrities, media influencers, Human Rights bodies, and others who condemned the move said it’s an attempt to muzzle free speech.

A civil group promoting good governance and public accountability in Nigeria, Enough is Enough (EiE) wrote on twitter using the handle @EiENigeria “When the government gets to play judge & jury over what is fake & what is true, their power is sweeping & the effect chilling. Nigerians.

According to many Nigerians, the bill, if passed into law, will gag free speech and cancel the participation of the people in governance and for this, shouldn’t be allowed to scale through.

Many Nigerian entertainers are not sitting on the fence on this one, as they have raised their voices against the actualisation of the bill.

Celebrities like Simi, Korede Bello, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, among others have joined voices with ordinary Nigerians and spoken up against the ‘worrisome’ bill.

A popular Television host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu says the “Bill is an abberation to free democracy and must not be allowed to see the light of the day.”

Also, gender rights activist and celebrity actress, Adesua Etomi-Wellington says that if the Bill is allowed to pass, Nigerians will now have to seek the permission of government to express their views.

According to her the “Bill negates the ingredients of free democracy and must be rejected by Nigerians in its totality,”

Now Senator Musa, the sponsor of the bill has cleared the air that it is not an attempt to stifle free speech or dissenting views; it is rather an opportunity to address a growing threat which, if left unchecked, can cause serious damage in our polity and disrupt peaceful coexistence.”

He stated that much as the internet has numerous benefits, it is also used for the purpose of manipulating information and spreading falsehoods.

Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information without interference.”