A group, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Protection of Civil Space, has staged a protest at the entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja against the passage of the controversial social media bill.

The group is asking lawmakers to resist and shut down the bill, noting that it contradicted the constitution.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters is holding a public hearing on the bill to enable stakeholders make inputs even though it had been widely rejected by Nigerians. 

Addressing journalists at the ongoing protest, Ariyo Dare Atoye said that the bill was aimed at shrinking the civic and media space.

According to him, “This bill is draconian and antithetical to freedom of speech. Our lawmakers should face their legislative business and stop chasing shadow.

“You cannot fight corruption by gagging social media. It is a bill in bad fate, Nigerians reject it.” 

Convener of Free Nigerian Movement, Raphael Adebayo, described the bill as crude and primitive, adding that the new law was unnecessary. 

He explained that the Cybercrime Act 2015 had addressed many issues raised in the new bill such as defamation.

Adebayo maintained that the group would continue with the struggle until the bill was abandoned by lawmakers.

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