The Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) has called on members of the National Assembly to drop social media and hate speech bill completely and come up with bill that will stop insecurity.
Daily Trust recalls that sponsors of the controversial bills, Senators Sani Musa and Sabi Abdullahi, have vowed not to withdraw the bills despite the public outcry that greeted the proposed legislation.
However, the National Secretary of the RATTAWU, Akpausoh Udo, in an interview with newsmen during the 2020 World Radio Day, said they are in support of any bill that will stop insecurity in the country, not the bill that will criminalise views of Nigerians.
“Senators should go and sit down; there are more serious issues. You cannot bring a bill that will stop insecurity, you are sponsoring a bill that will say, if you go to the field and you report issues, they can twist it and say it is invective and as such, it is hate speech. Before you know it, they will just pick you and jail you,” Udo said.
Speaking earlier, the National President of RATTAWU, Kabir Tsanni, while briefing journalists cautioned the federal government not to gag media.
He added that it should rather provide community radio for Nigerian populace with a view to addressing lingering insecurity challenges.
He said, “It is indeed disappointing that our democracy is becoming a victim of diversity phobia. Deficit of diversity does no good to good to anyone anywhere in the world. We must therefore make the conscious efforts to encourage diversity by allowing divergent views in the media to be rainbow of colours, rather than reasons for blatant arrest and intimidation.
“Government-controlled broadcast stations should be allowed to be as diversified in programming as in opinion. Gagging diversity in the media is a metaphor for strangulation of the media,” he noted.
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