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NUJ, SERAP seek sustained advocacy against hate-speech, social media bills

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National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Christopher Isiguzo, has urged media practitioners to intensify sustained advocacy against the passage of the hate-speech bill before National Assembly.

Isiguzo said this yesterday at an interactive session on promoting media freedom and freedom of expression in Nigeria organised by Socio-Economic Right & Accountability Project (SERAP).

He declared that those bills constitute unnecessary distractions to the civic space in the country.

He, therefore, enjoined media practitioners not to cave in but continue to stand in gap for the society that now looks up to them as the last ‘hope of the common man.’

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“NUJ is totally not in support of the social media bill and hate speech bill. The leadership of the National Assembly is determined to let the bill pass but Nigerians must say no. There must be free expression and such space shouldn’t be confined. In other climes, you don’t regulate the end users, the person posting on the social media because that’s not the right way.”

Also, a human rights and pro-democracy activist with SERAP, Richard Akinnola, who explained that there was need to fashion out how to effectively deal with repression of the media by state governors, security agencies and other political actors, advised that there should be establishment of press freedom legal aid fund to support practitioners who are unnecessarily being persecuted by politicians and the need for press freedom coalition in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, represented by Kolawole Oluwadare, a deputy director, charged media practitioners to critically consider how legislations impact their work, warning that when the media space is suppressed, it could affect anybody.


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