Protest against social media, hate speech bill holds tomorrow across Nigeria

Nigerians will be trooping out to the streets on Wednesday, Nov. 29, across the states to protest against the social media and hate speech bill in the national assembly.

The controversial bills passed first and second reading in the senate.

The Social Media Bill has a provision that will empower the Nigerian government to unilaterally order the shutdown of the internet if passed into law.

Part 3 (12) of the bill gives law enforcement agencies the power to shut down access to the internet and social media without recourse to the National Assembly or a court.

The section says: Law Enforcement Department may direct the NCC to order the internet access provider to take reasonable steps to disable access by end-users in Nigeria to the online location (called in this Clause an access blocking order), and NCC must give the internet access provider an access blocking order (emphasis ours).

An internet service provider that refuses to obey the order on conviction by a court may be fined N10 million for each day the order is not obeyed.

Another section of the bill prescribes a fine of ₦300,000 or three-year jail term or both for anyone found guilty of making statements that “diminish public confidence in the performance of any duty or function, or in the exercise of any power of the Government.”

The social media bill is a replication of Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods & Manipulation Act 2019 signed into law in June.

The protest will take place at the states houses of assembly across Nigeria starting from 8AM and the dress code is black and red.

See the info below.

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