The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its administration to regulate social media in Nigeria.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the moves to regulate social media as unconstitutional, anti-people and a suppressive design to asphyxiate Nigerians.
The opposition party asserted that the renewed call to censor the social media is ostensibly targeted at silencing outspoken Nigerians, particularly the youths, media and civil society organizations, from demanding accountability.
The statement read in part: “PDP rejects the claims that the regulation bill is targeted at checking fake news. This is because Nigeria has enough implementable laws to counter the dissemination of fake news and punish offenders.
“It is clear that the APC administration is rather xenophobic of criticisms from citizens against its manifest atrocities that it seeks to surreptitiously reenact the obnoxious military decree 4 to suppress Nigerians.”
PDP stated that the move by APC is to gag the citizens and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The party, therefore, urged the APC administration to rather take steps to reassure Nigerians by putting an end to its manifest corruption and abuse of human rights for which Nigerians demand answers.
“PDP counsels the APC administration to become more accountable, particularly, by ending its arrogance as well as its shielding of corrupt officials, as being witnessed in the desperation to protect federal officials allegedly involved in the criminal diversion of funds voted for COVID-19 palliatives.
“The APC administration should rather come clean on the parameters for the hike in the cost of fuel, the depletion of our foreign reserves and the mortgaging of our nation to external interests through foreign loans,” PDP added.
PDP stressed that APC should rather be concerned about explaining how government vehicles were used to convey hoodlums to attack protesters in Abuja as well as who deployed soldiers to Lekki Toll gate leading to the reported killing of innocent and unarmed protesters rather than seeking ways to gag Nigerians.
“While our party does not in any way condone the dissemination of fake news, which was actually birthed and promoted by the APC as a tool to grab power during the build-up to the 2015 elections, the PDP rejects the attempt to hide under fake news to impose a siege mentality in our country for selfish political reasons.
“In fact, if anything, the APC should apologise for making our social media toxic, importing fake news into our polity as well as running an incompetent, oppressive and corrupt administration,” the statement added.