Senator Dino Melaye, one of the passionate supporters in the senate of the law restricting and punishing social media users for carrying false information, sighted Sahara Reporters to have reported false news about him. After the debate the Senate President agreed that something needs to be done about the social media but the target isn’t just social media users but online newspapers and magazines.
Sahara Reporters have been on the case of Senate President Bukola Saraki for a while now. They have consistently attacked the man to the extent of publishing some fake British passport claiming it is that of the Senate President. I can also understand why Dino Melaye is not happy. This is the friend of Saraki who accompanies the wife of the Senate President to the EFCC when she was invited for certain corruption cases. Of course the loyal Dino Melaye, who mentioned Sahara Reporters, would definitely think this is about defending his friend(s).
Men in power have almost always find ways to suppress freedom of expression somehow and they have almost always failed in their attempts to do that. The Nigerian Senate cannot succeed now because the internet is too big to be controlled. If they make laws restricting people from disseminating information in whatever ways, people would just go underground and do the same. If they have power they should ban the internet from Nigeria if not they cannot control activities on the internet because even the most developed nations haven’t been able to do that. Countries have not been able to successfully fight terrorists from indoctrinating people on the internet and we are here focusing on some internet law to punish people from spreading false news about senators, isn’t this funny? Can you stop people from using false names to open Facebook or Twitter accounts?
Some of the people in the senate came to power through the use of the internet. They have forgotten so soon how their supporters spread false new, defaming stories about their opponents that they exploit to get to the senate today. The same Sahara Reporters were instrumental in the whole APC victory and we all know that.
Let the senate make their laws and see if they can stop anything. The fact is that they cannot. I will advise them to seriously take laws against corruption seriously and pass the death sentence on issues like that because majority of people in the country think corruption is the problem with Nigeria, even the APC government think so until they took over power. They cannot pass such laws as it affects them and their friends directly. If they can pass such laws they can pass any law and the Nigerian masses would support them.