Outraged Nigerians have taken to social networking platform, Twitter, to express their anger over the proposed Hate Speech Bill, which has already passed first and second reading on the floor of the National Assembly.
Nigerians on the platform are calling for nationwide protests to force the National Assembly to discard the bill they say muzzle free speech.
The bill, which was solely sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, among other penalties seeks death for those the government deems guilty of hate speech as well as shutting down of the Internet when a complainant petitions the police.
Joe Abah tweeting @DrJoeAbah, described it as a grievous infringement on the constitutional right to free speech.
He said, “I, Joe Abah, #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. It is a grievous infringement on the constitutional right to free speech.
“We must be able to speak our minds even when we are wrong or mistaken, without fear of intimidation, harassment or incarceration by the state.”
Dipo Awojide, another Twitter user, admonished Nigerians to with a sense of urgency call their representatives to ensure the bill does not scale through.
He said, “Any senator who does not come out openly to #SayNoToSocialMediaBill is part of the useless plot.
“Citizens should be able to know where the legislator representing them stands on issues. Ask your senator to come out boldly and state their stance on this issue.”
Bolanle Olukanni tweeting @bolanleolukanni, warned Nigerians about the implications of the bill.
He said, “If the social media bill passes, law enforcement agencies have the right to shut down Internet at any time.
“This means if we are shouting about something our government is doing, they can turn off our Internet! #SayNoToSocialMediaBill.”
Anambra 1st Son tweeting @UchePOkoye, on his own warned of the danger of the bill as well.
He said, “Access Blocking Order on the social media bill will hand NCC access to block any online user.
“You will never criticise government, else you will be shut down and tagged misinformation and fake news! This is a total shutdown!”