Information blackout: Nigeria lawmakers suspend media bill

Information blackout: Nigeria newspapers publish same protest message on 12 July


Afta one day of protest by Nigeria newspapers sake of goment plan to pass new media law wey go suppress freedom of information, Nigeria lawmakers don suspend dia debate for di Nigeria Press Council and National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill.

Di suspension of di debate fit be reaction to di collabo protest wey three national media joinbody dem wey dey represent journalists, editors and newspaper companies bin join hand organise.

On Monday, all di front page of di national newspapers bin cari di same foto of pikin wey prison bars dey im mouth den dem come write “information blackout.”

Why Nigeria newspapers publish same protest message

Nigerians wake up on Monday 12 July, 2021 to see di same headlines ontop di front-page of all national newspapers.

No be mistake. Na wetin di Nigerian Press Organisation [NPO] bin don plan to do.

NPO call am ‘information blackout to protest wetin dem say:

Na “di attempt by di goment to squeez di mouth of constitutional freedom of speech wey di media suppose enjoy for Nigeria”.

Popular national newspapers like The Punch, Vanguard and The Guardian write for di front:

“Dis na wetin di National Assembly wan achieve wit di NPC and NBC (media) Act Amendment Bills.

Di Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria [NPAN] – wey be joinbodi under NPO – say:

Di one of di bills dey propose fines wey reach N.25 million on journalist, and N5 million on a media bodies. And journalists fit get jail terms of one to three years.

NPAN say dis protest with dia frontpage go continue on 13 July although with anoda message, and then on 14 July dem go explain why dem do dey reject bi amendments of di bills.

Di lawmakers say di amendment na to protect anyhow information, including fake news to comot for public to consume.

Information blackout: Nigeria newspapers publish same protest message on 12 July


Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria and NBC Act Amendment Bills

One lawmaker Olusegun Odebunmi propose say di Nigeria Press Council (NPC) go dey amended.

Di move na to control alias regulate di print media and related media houses inside di west African kontri.

NPC Act as amended say di council na to “ensure truthful, genuine and quality services by print media houses and media practitioners”.

Di amended NDC (media) Act Bill also dey similar, however e dey target radio, and television stations.

Di Nigeria Press Organisation believe say di real reason behind di amendment na to monitor and control wetin dem dey publish.

Nigeria parliament, di National Assembly on 21 June respond say:

“Di fact say you regulate di activities of di media like di radio, television no mean say you dey gag di media.”

Chairman of di Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Ajibola Basiru bin tok.

Information blackout: Nigeria newspapers publish same protest message on 12 July

Di front page of some major Nigerian newspapers on Friday

Fight for press freedom

Under di President Muhammadu Buhari goment, many battles don dey ontop press freedom mata.

From di battle against one alleged social media bill to di suspended hate speech bill, since 2017 Nigerians dey constantly fight for a free press.

For late 2019 one Nigerian senator wey sponsor di bill to set up di National Commission for di Prohibition of hate speech don do U-Turn.

Senator Abdullahi Sabi say di senate go amend di death penalty wey dem propose for anybody wey dey guilty of di mata.

Inside statement dat time, Sabi explain say di national assembly go fine -tune di bill to make sure say e dey in line with wetin Nigerians want.

Now whether na di fine-tune bill dey resurface so or not, Nigerians go soon find out.

For December 2019, one Nigerian local tori; Punch newspaper publish say from then on dem go dey call president Buhari ‘Major General’.

Na to protest against im kind of autocracy and military-style repression rule, Punch newspaper tok for one editorial.

Nigeria goment reply dat time say no be big deal if anybody call president ‘Muhammadu Major General’.

Dis na as e be say dis na rank wey im earn and nobody dash am, di presidency tok.