Monday, January 4, 2016

Ayo Sogunro ― On Stupid Laws and Clever Legislators

Nigeria’s National Assembly is the bastard of Nigerian democracy—and that’s putting it mildly.

Now, “bastard” is a historically hateful word, and should not be applied to fellow humans. But, I have used it here to convey the intensity of the National Assembly’s disregard for both the wishes of the Nigerian people and the values of democratic government.

First: consider this very anti-democratic idea. A few days ago, the Senate proceeded to the second reading of “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and other Matters Connected therewith” sponsored by Senator Ibn Na’Allah, an APC Senator from Kebbi State. I am yet to see a copy of this bill but, from the copious reproduction in this newspaper report, it appears to be the most autocratic piece of junk ever to walk into the National Assembly and demand to be a law.

Actually, it would be comic if it weren’t monstrously terrifying.

Just ponder its provisions: the bill recommends a jail term of two years or a fine of N2,000,000 or both for any person who:
“through text message, tweets, WhatsApp or through any social media post[s] any abusive statement knowing same to be false with intent to set the public against any person and group of persons, an institution of government or such other bodies established by law….”

 Read the full article HERE