Read the press statement the student body released below…
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, condemn in totality the unusual rapid readings and debate in which the bill to jail social media users got from the Nigerian senate of the 8th National Assembly within a week, where we have pending volatile issues turning the nation down that needs their urgent attentions as stakeholder.
With the decision of the senate to have allow for reading and referring to committee of ethics and privilege, a bill which infringe on the right and freedom of information of Nigerian masses, it has exposed the underbelly of the Nigerian senate to an unpardonable ridicule that they are not representing their people but themselves, because how would our senators who reside mostly in FCT source for information and gather opinions to provide solution on national issues from all nooks and crannies of the country if not through social media facts and fallacy.
It is also noteworthy to state that NANS considers the Nigeria senate threat on social media users as a fraudulent attempt to subvert Nigeria’s democracy and freedom of expressions in any form. They wish to deny the masses of access to information which is a prerequisite for transparency and accountability of governments, security awareness and as safeguarding citizens against mismanagement, crimes and corruption.
Social media, a fastest means of interaction, remains the last hope of the less privilege in communicating their ideas, needs and grievances to most of our leaders that are not accessible. Also, Nigerian students concern as the bedrock of this nation’s development and highest rated user of social media, emanated from the fact that most of our distinguished senators cannot rid their camps of social media propaganda as it’s the source of their political popularity, yet they feel so eager to suggest two (2) years jail term or N4m fine for social media users who passes information which they as law makers may term as false.
The nation is battling with security challenges and many more, where lays the hope and aspiration of the masses when our Senators are yet to pass a bill stipulating increase in years of jail term of corrupt people who siphoned the nations fund with a corresponding increase in the amount of money embezzled.
We know that the law is like cobweb, too strong to catch the weak but too weak to catch the strong, therefore NANS uses this medium to appeal to all distinguish senators of Federal Republic of Nigeria to please place our collective national interest above their self-interest in making decisions to govern this country. It is on this note, that we are emphatically stating that any attempt by the Senate to pass the bill on jailing social media users, then they should be prepared to face the wrath of the Nigerian students through maximum protest to the National Assembly.
Signed: Comrade Ogunkuade Oluwatosin
NANS Vice President External
FOR: National Association of Nigerian Students’