Tunde Akanni

Embattled Nigerian Senate Faces Stiff Opposition Over Anti-Free Speech Bill

Since its inauguration June 2015, the Senate, the upper legislative chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, has been wading through a series of controversies ranging from bogus salaries and allowances, corruption allegations, underperformance, to most recently an anti-people legislative proposal initiated by senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah who has a rather evasive background.
 
Organizations and individuals including the Nigeria Union of Journalists, civil society groups and civil rights activists, and other well meaning Nigerians, continued to condemn plans of the Nigerian lawmakers to adopt a law that is likely to bludgeon freedom of speech in the country. The proposed bill is laughably named“Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith”. The protest reached its climax on 8 December 2015 when human rights and social media activists marched to the National Assembly in Abuja in a rally tagged #NoToSocialMediaBill.