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Anti-social media bill: Why lawmakers are looking into the bill – Lawan

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Nigerian Senate president ahmed lawan
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Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan on Monday in Abuja said, lawmakers have a tradition of sourcing views from the public no matter the controversy.

He stated this in his opening speech at a public hearing on a bill, “Protection from Internet Falsehoods, Manipulations and other related Matters, 2019 which was sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa representing Niger East Senatorial district.

“This is the second time I am declaring open an event to discuss a bill for the protection from Internet falsehoods and other related matters.

“About a month ago, I was opportuned to declare open a Town Hall meeting open on the similar event organised by the management of DAAR Communications on the protection from Internet falsehoods and also the bill on hate speech.

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“This one is in the National Assembly. This is the peoples Assembly and this is a Parliamentary environment. The difference would be better known later.

“This public hearing is a crucial one because it is all about protection from Internet falsehoods and other Manipulations and which I know Internet has become central to our lives today.

“With Internet, we live, we work and how we interact. It has its negative and positive sides. Why it has made communications faster, easier and even cheaper, it has also affected our ability to discern some informations.

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“We are here to interogate all the sides on a continuous basis and to have a better understanding of the dimensions and to agree on the way forward.

“Indeed the National Assembly has never envisaged or assumed of knowing everything. We have never arogate to ourselves of knowing everything.

“It was for this reason that we referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters and it is a tradition that we open up discussions.

‘In the Assembly here today, however, we need to remember that there are multiple positions on every arguments.

‘This implies that we should be open minded and dispassionate and we should be ready to hear from the other side no matter how strong we feel about our own position. It is right to say that information and knowledge grows in an atmosphere of listening and sharing.

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“When we listen, we put ourselves on better ground reasonably to agree and disagree.

“The event is taking place in a parliamentary environment which is a market square of ideas that in a legislature, we listen to ourselves.

“We should also agree that where the right of an individual stops, another one starts.

“The Senate would be further enriched by the report of this Committee”, he stated.

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