‘You misunderstood us,’ Senate tells Nigerians

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi in a statement released on Monday, December 7, 2015.

Bukola Saraki

The Senate has said that its controversial bill, which provides a two-year jail term for social media critics, has been misunderstood by Nigerians.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi in a statement released on Monday, December 7, 2015.

The statement reads:

“Some of the comments on the bill emanated from misconception and misunderstanding of the objective. The senate is committed to freedom of speech and a fully inclusive and participatory democracy.”

“The eighth Senate is totally committed to protecting the liberty of all Nigerians and the independence of the Senate and the legislative arm of government as we deepen our democratic journey.”

“The anti-frivolity bill will go through the whole hog and there is no intention to make the process of passing this bill any different.”

“Accordingly, the Senate wants to re-assure the public about this. So, all those who are either for or against this bill or its part and any other one have ample opportunities to reshape it.”

“The Eighth Senate is conscious of its responsibility to the people and will not do anything that will stifle participation and inclusion.

“We will always ensure we pass laws which meets best practices across the world and indeed democratic scrutiny. Suggesting that the senate wants to pass a law not even practiced in China etc. is being mischievous.”

“This Senate is people-centred, pro-poor and participatory. We will always act in the best interest of the citizenry. In this regard, we are totally committed to performing our duties and discharging our responsibilities without let or hindrance.”

“All those spreading hate campaigns as a result of the Anti-frivolity bill, hauling insults at and making derogatory comments on Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the institution of the Senate are advised to key into the elaborate legislative process that a bill must pass through before becoming law if they are interested in shaping the outcome of the bill.”

“This is the right way to go and part of the change we all aspire for our democracy.”

The bill, titled “Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and other Matters Connected therewith”, was sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah from Kebbi State.

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