The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Sunday, November 1, slammed the Federal Government over its proposal to regulate the social media space.
This was contained in a statement issued by the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, who reacted to the move by the government when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
According to Akpata, the timing was suspicious.
The NBA Chairman insisted that social media is regulated already; wondering if the government is planning to shut it down completely.
“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 said.
He admitted that there are irresponsible users of social media; but pointed out that there are already established laws to deal with such kinds of persons.
“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,” he argued.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, November 1, urged Nigerian youths to end all protests; and focus on engaging government to find answers to their grievances.
Buhari made this appeal during his statement at the maiden National Youth Day celebration on November 1, which coincided with the African Youth Day celebration.
The president encouraged the youths to rather go for meaningful discussions with the government; for comprehensive reforms to end all forms of police brutality against Nigerians.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, told the gathering his administration has heard the pleas of youths.
The President also announced that over one million applications had already been received; since the Youth Investment Fund Portal went live on the 12th of October 2020.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; the President added the Federal Government ‘‘now wants to hear concrete and practical ideas,’’ from the youths; while acknowledging their constitutional right to peaceful protests.
”You must realise that protests cannot last indefinitely. My government will not lift a hand to stop or suppress you.
”However, the fact of the matter is that other forces and actors will seek to take over your protests; that they may redirect them in ways you did not intend and perhaps do not agree with.