By Barr. Evans Ufeli
The Nigerian society is one with a set of political leaders who by all means speed up legislation on issues that affects them, but will ignore the masses and push no bill to help them come out of poverty. The most pressing issues of life that affects the ordinary man like education, security, shelter, food and the likes of it have not witnessed the senate wand as all bills on the aforementioned issues have convulsed under senatorial lunatic bureaucracy where all issues that will uplift the masses are kept to die natural deaths.
By section 14 subsection 2 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended the law states:
It is hereby accordingly declared that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this constitution derives all its powers and authority; the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government; and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution.
It must be noted that the current social media bill that is expeditiously gaining acceptance in both legislative chambers in Nigeria is an attempt to impede of the peoples right of expression and by every stretch of imagination such a journey to silence a people with formidable force of eloquence and higher coherence must face resistance from the people because fundamental rights is enforceable under the Nigerian law. It is a constitutional right of a citizen to express his or her self in the manner they so choose to. Section 39 (1) of the constitution says every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinion and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.
The expression of ideas and thought of Nigerians on the social media must not be interfered with by any mendacious legislation because that will amount to a breach of this right to all intent and purposes .
Furthermore, to enforce this right Section 46 of the constitution says any person who alleges that any of the provisions on fundamental right has been, is being or likely to be contravened in any state in relation to him, may apply to a High court in that state for redress. Nigerians therefore have the right to resist the bill through lawful means as the 8th assembly hasn’t made any meaningful law since inception.
We can not listen to the ploy that the bill is targeted to check abuse of the use of the social media. We do not believe in government censoring our medium of expression. Government should wake up to her responsibilities and she will be good for it instead of looking for means to stop people from telling them the truth. The level of economic hostility and animosity in the land cannot leave Nigerians mute. We are tired of the attitude of our leaders and we want change. No one can stop us from talking. Let justice rain like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. We want change!