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Group lauds withdrawal of anti-media bill by Assembly


A civil society organisation, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC), has suspended its proposed 100,000 man-march in the state in which it planned to protest an anti-media bill in the Imo State House of Assembly, saying the House had withdrawn the bill.

The group in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Walter Duru, said its members called off the planned protest because their main demand, which was the withdrawal of the anti-media bill’ had been achieved.

“Following the official withdrawal of the bill by its sponsor and Deputy Speaker of the House, Ugonna Ozuruigbo, MIIVOC hereby notifies all its members and allies that the planned protest earlier scheduled for Monday March 6, 2017 will no longer hold.

“However, even as arrangements for the protest have been suspended, we shall be vigilant to ensure that it is not reintroduced in another form. We commend our members and other organisations, particularly the Freedom of Information Coalition Nigeria (MICN) and other sister coalitions for their readiness and willingness to protest the anti-masses bill,” the statement said.

He said: “The Freedom of Information Act is applicable to all levels and arms of government in Nigeria. However, the present state Assembly members could write their names in gold by adopting the FOI Act.

“I have personally reached out to the Deputy Speaker to acknowledge his withdrawal of the bill. I also assured him of our readiness to assist in developing a draft legislation that will promote transparency and accountability in the state and the FOI Act is one of such bills.”

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