National Assembly Assures That The Senate Will Not Approve Death Penalty For Social Media Offenders

Olabde Adaramola

The Senator, representing Niger East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Abuja, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa  has assured that the controversial Social Media Bill, if passed into law, will not deny Nigerians their rights to freedom of speech, describing the bill as   mere regulations, that did not mean  denial of freedom of speech.

He stated further that the incumbent members of the 9th Senate will not approve death penalty for Social Media offenders if passed into law eventually, but regulating  service providers.

He also debunked the insinuations in some quarters that he was acting on behalf of the executive arm of government to sponsor the Bill, saying, “I am not being used by anyone to sponsor the Bill”.

Senator Sani Musa gave the clarifications at the weekend on the occasion of the annual Paigokni Development Association, a socio-cultural organization’s annual fiesta, and 2019 reception organized in Paikoro Local Government Area of the state, where they exhibited their different arts and crafts, with the view to preserve their heritage as well as honouring their sons and daughters to mark the annual event.

He also debunked the assertions in some quarters that he was acting on behalf of the executive arm of government to sponsor the controversial Bill, saying, I ambnot being used by anyone to sponsor the Bill”, arguing further that regulation is not denial of freedom of speech.

Speaking further ,he also decried what he described as  lack of the much needed federal government’s presence in the state, coupled with  inadequate representation of the North Central States in the current government at the Centre.

According to him, “Niger state gave the incumbent  All Progressive Congress (APC) led- admunistration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the highest votes in the North Central geo- political zone, but we are  relegated by the federal government because we are only proud of a  Ministerial slot which is constitutional and the  Federal University of Technology, ( FUT) Minna, apart from these,  nothing to hold on to”.

He however pointed out whenever he  complained aloud about it, that his colleagues were always ready to tell  him  that Niger state have had it’s time and opportunity in the past  when two  former Military heads of state came  from the state.

Senator Musa reassured the people of  the state of good representation at the National Assembly, adding that he  will ensure that he fulfilled his campaign promises to the people of his Senatorial District and act only on what his constituency agreed on as a representative of the people of Niger East senatorial district.

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He informed  his crowd of supporters   that he had made efforts to ensure water projects were captured in 2020 budget especially to proffers solution to yearly  water challenges in Paiko and revamping of Kagara dam project in  Paikoro and Rafi local government areas  of the state  so as to encouraged irrigation farming in the areas, just as he  made some personal pledges to the people of his constituency.

The federal law maker  further cleared the air on the social media bill which he said a wide spectrum of  Nigerians have painted them in a negative light.

He  said, “regulations is not denial of freedom of speech” while ,  insisting  that the national assembly members  would not approve death penalty for social media bill’s offenders, but regulating service providers arguing that he was not acting on behalf of  federal government or groups as alleged in some quarters, for sponsoring the controversial bill.

Earlier in  his remarks at the occasion,  an elder of  PDA, Alhaji Abdullahi Kpotun who spoke on behalf of the acting president stated that the annual cultural fiesta and reception to honour their sons and daughters was devoid of political, religious or ethnic inclinations, adding that they  have always concentrated on the unity and development of their communities.

Kpotun enumerated some of its achievements to sponsoring of students to tertiary institutions, provision of instructional materials to 200 primary schools, repairs of boreholes in villages and the supply modern school equipments.

He however  decried the  high rate  of unemployment among the youths, bad township roads, lack of portable water in Paiko town,just as he  called for the upgrading of Paiko health centre to the status of a General Hospital, as well as lack of structures at the permanent site of the permanent orientation  camp of  National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)in the state.

He  however appealed to the state government and well to do individuals to come to their aids .

Meanwhile, the events also  witnessed the  presentation of a  lecture on Gbagyi people by Dr. Mohammad Aliyu the Provost of Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, School of Administration and  Legal Studies, Kpakungu,  Minna, the state capital.

The Chairman of the event was  Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, while the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello,  was represented by the Honourabke Speaker Niger State House of  Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse who assured that the state  government would  support the organization for cultural survival and heritage.
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