No government will allow social media users to abuse the space, the senator representing Niger East, Mohammad Sani Musa, has said.
Musa said he had been watching the way many Nigerians abused the social media, even before he became a senator, adding that no government would tolerate such excesses.
He said social media space had been so abused in Nigeria that it had become a tool other countries use to mock the country.
The senator said he nursed the ambition of getting the government to regulate the social media before he was elected into the National Assembly.
Musa spoke in Paiko, headquarters of Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State, during the annual festival and reception of the Paigokni Development Association (PDA).
The senator, who is the sponsor of the social media bill, also called the “Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill”, said no government would allow its innocent citizen to be killed.
He said a lot of activities on the social media affect many Nigerians negatively and had even led to the death of some.
“While the constitution gives you the freedom of speech and freedom of association, that same constitution asks you to stay within your limit. The Bill is not about prosecuting people; it is about letting the right thing be done.
“I want to be criticised so that I will do better, but the criticism should be constructive. But if you insult me, I will not take it lightly.
“I had nursed the ambition of regulating social media before getting to the Senate. People are accusing us that it is the Federal Government that is sponsoring us to sponsor the Bill. But it is not. This is something I have had in mind for long. I have visited a lot of countries and seen that social media in the countries are regulated.
“The Bill will address a lot of issues. A lot of people misuse the social media. They use it for their own advantage. If you accuse your leaders of not working, point out what they need to do. That is constructive criticism. But when pictures are mismatched against leaders, that becomes dangerous; that is where this Bill comes to play,” Musa said.
The senator urged Nigerians to support the Legislators to enable the bill to see the light of the day.
He explained that the area of death penalty would not be approved for social media bills stressing that the support of the people is very important for the bill to come to be passed.
One of the representatives of the Paigokni Development Association (PDA), Alhaji Abdullahi Kpotun who spoke on behalf of the acting President stated that the annual cultural fiesta and reception is meant to honor their sons and daughters who had seen to 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, supply modern school equipment.
He decried the level of unemployment, bad township roads, lack of water in Paiko town, calling for the upgrading of Paiko health centre to general hospital, lack of structures at the permanent site of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) while appealing to government and individuals to come to their aid.