President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the commitment of his administration to the protection of free speech in keeping with democratic tradition.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu says President Buhari while reacting to the public hostility towards the social media bill now before the senate, vowed not to violate provisions of the constitution.The Statement reiterates that the President is not averse to lawful regulation, so long as it is done within the ambit of the constitution.
“President Buhari is fully aware of public reservations about the proposed legislation, but assured that there is no cause for alarm “because the Senate is a democratic institution.
The President won’t assent to any legislation that may be inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria.”
“But he is not averse to lawful regulation, so long as that is done within the ambit of the constitution, which he swore to uphold.
The president said free speech is central to democratic societies anywhere in the world. He explained that without free speech, elected representatives won’t be able to gauge public feelings and moods about governance issues.
As a key component of democratic principles, the president acknowledges that people in democratic societies are so emotionally attached to free speech and they would defend it with all their might.”