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 and indeed, their counterparts in the House of Representatives 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 am not being used by anyone to sponsor the Bill”, arguing further that regulation is not a 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 the 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- administration 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 has 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.
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 in order to encourage irrigation farming in the areas, just as he made some personal pledges to the people of his constituency.
The federal lawmaker further cleared the air on the social media bill which he said a wide spectrum of Nigerians has 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 equipment.
He, however, decried the high rate of unemployment among the youths, bad township roads, lack of potable 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 Honourable 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.