Buhari To Senate: I Won’t Muzzle Free Speech | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari To Senate: I Won’t Muzzle Free Speech

Posted: Dec 8, 2015 at 7:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday warned the Senate that he would not take any decision that contravenes the provision of the Nigerian constitution on the rights of citizens.

The President’s comments came on the heels of steps by the lawmakers to pass a bill seeking to control freedom of social media platforms.

Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement on the proposed bill by the Senate, expressed the commitment of President to the protection of the free of speech in keeping with democratic tradition.

There has been public hostility towards the social media bill now being debated by the Senate.

According to the presidential aide, President Buhari has sworn to defend the constitution of Nigeria and would not lend his hand to anything that is inconsistent with the constitution.

“But he is not averse to lawful regulation, so long as that is done within the ambit of the constitution which he swore to uphold.”

The President said free speech is central to democratic societies anywhere in the world. He explained that without free speech, elected representatives won’t be able to gauge public feelings and moods about governance issues.

As a key component of democratic principles, the President acknowledged that people in democratic societies are so emotionally attached to free speech that they would defend it with all their might.

Shehu, in the statement, explained that President Buhari was fully aware of the public reservations about the proposed legislation but assured that there is no cause for alarm because the Senate is a democratic senate.

“The President won’t assent to any legislation that may be inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria”