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Controversial Social Media Bill will be dead on arrival-Saraki

Controversial Social Media Bill will be dead on arrival-Saraki

By Harold Udoka

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has revealed that the contentious sections of the controversial Social Media Bill would not see the light of the day.

Senator Saraki who made the assertion as a participant in the on-going #SMWLagos , Social Media Week in Lagos  also used to reiterate the growing influence of social media users in Nigeria’s political environment, and encouraged the audience to continue contributing to the development of Nigeria through their dialogue and debate on various paltforms.

According to the Senate President “Without the involvement of social media, there is no way that we would have removed a non-performing government — because now everything is out in the open unlike years ago.”

Saraki went on to commend the online community, calling them the real ‘Chairmen of INEC,’ indicating that their crowd-sourced election results from polling stations during the general elections ensured that the manipulation of vote counts was kept to the barest minimum.

“Though we had the numbers,” Saraki said, “It is really thanks to social media that votes counted because you shared the results as they happened.”

The Senate President then announced that the controversial aspects of the ‘Frivolous Petition Bill,’ which is the section 4 of the Anti-frivolous petition Bill now popularly known as ‘Anti-Social Media Bill’ would not see the light of day at the Senate.

Saraki went on to assure the audience at #SMWLagos that in the next few weeks, the calls for an Open National Assembly (#OpenNASS) would be actualised, and Nigerians would get to see the line-item allocations of the National Assembly.
The Senate President called for continued cooperation and conversation between the government and the public via social media, and stated that as a result of the recent National Assembly Interactive Session with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) called #NASSEngages, starting from 2017, CSOs would be a part of the budget hearing process.

The Senate President who is the first Senior public official to personally attend  the social media week which is in its 4th year, assured participants that his presence at the event shows how serious the National Assembly takes the social Media and its users.


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