• We Will Reject Any Regulations Contrary to Nigerian Constitution Abdulrahman Aliagan, Abuja The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mo
• We Will Reject Any Regulations Contrary to Nigerian Constitution
Abdulrahman Aliagan, Abuja
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that there is no going back on the government’s plans to regulate activities on social media in Nigeria. The Information Minister disclosed this at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, no government will fold its arms and allow activities capable of setting the country on fire to continue.He added, “I think It has reached a level that the government may just no longer fold its arms and allow this to continue,”
Mohammed stated further that no amount of criticism would stop the government from implementing tougher sanctions for broadcast stations that violate the broadcast code. The minister, however, said the regulation would not affect “responsible journalism”.
On the contrary, a former Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has said that any social media regulation by government not in line with the Nigerian constitution would be rejected by the people.
Reacting to the plan while speaking with on Tuesday, Ubani said he believes greatly in freedom of expression as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and therefore any regulation contrary to the law would be resisted.
According to him, “Let me say this, any regulation must have the backing of the law. There must be enactment of law.
“There would be a National Assembly enactment in which they would define how they want to regulate social media and that particular law would attract stakeholders to look into the enactment of the law. People would make contributions before they enact the law.
“I would not know the manner of regulation they’re regarding to. Is that people won’t be able to express themselves anymore or when you express you’ll be sanctioned and all that?
“I think we need to know which direction they’re trying to regulate. Let us know in what manner.
“Freedom of expression is already guaranteed by the constitution and there is no law today that can be enacted that would oust the provision of the constitution in regards to freedom of expression.
“So, any law that is enacted that runs contrary to the provisions of the constitution would be declared null and void.
“Any regulation of social media that interferes with the freedom of expression of the people would be declared invalid either by way of regulation or enactment.” He concluded.