February 17, 2020

Young Parliamentarians vow to stop hate speech, social media bills

Social Media Bill: CSO demands other options to fight hate speech

Supports speedy passage of PIGB

Charges govs to declare state of emergency on youth devt

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Young Parliamentarians Forum, YPF, of the 9th National Assembly has vowed to stop the controversial hate speech, social media, and Non-governmental organisation bills.

This was part of the communique signed by the Chairman, YPF, Hon. Kabir Ibrahim Tukura and others, after their meeting held in Owerri, Imo State, after its official inauguration by the President of the Senate.

The communique which was made available to Vanguard indicated that the Forum held its 2020 annual retreat in Owerri, Imo State to deliberate on key national issues and develop its 2020 engagement agenda.

The retreat among others focused on constitutional review, electoral reforms, shrinking civic space and the petroleum industry bill, as well as other issues of critical national importance.

The communique reads in part, “The YPF reaffirmed its commitment to deepening the democratic civic space and protection of human rights and will therefore not support proposed legislation like the hate speech bill, social media bill, the NGO bill in their current form, all of which are capably trampling on the rights of Nigerians. However, the YPF calls on citizens to be sensitive to the rights of others and be responsible for the exercise of their rights.

READ ALSO: Forum calls for withdrawal of Hate Speech, Fake News Bills

“The YPF will promote the involvement of citizens in the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution. In this regard, the Forum will provide leadership in building consensus on constitutional issues amongst young people in Nigeria and support constitutional amendments geared towards promoting devolution of powers, national integration, fiscal federalism, and economic development.

“The YPF will canvass for further constitutional amendments to increase youth and women representation in elective and appointive positions in the country. The Forum will particularly take deliberate steps to promote the participation of women in politics.

“The YPF recognized the urgent need to deepen the integrity of elections through amendments to the electoral legal framework. Particularly, the YPF will propose amendments that deepen internal democracy in parties and sanitize the candidate nomination process.

“Other priority issues include; review of timelines for the resolution of pre-election matters before elections; bridging the dichotomy between election petition tribunal and regular courts; deployment of technology for results collation and transmission and electronic accreditation of voters; creation of the electoral offences commission amongst others.”

Meanwhile, the YPF has promised to work assiduously to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, within the stipulated period.

“The YPF supports ongoing reforms in the petroleum sector and will work assiduously to ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) within the time stated by the leadership of the National Assembly taking into consideration the interest of Nigerians and other stakeholders in the sector.

“The YPF frowns at the non-compliance of State Governors to the constitutional amendment granting financial autonomy to State Houses of Assembly and therefore calls on the Attorney General of the Federation to, as a matter of urgency, enforce this constitutional requirement.

“The YPF identifies collapse of Local Government System as one of the factors responsible for worsening insecurity and therefore will support the ongoing Constitutional Amendments to grant financial and administrative autonomy to Local Government Councils.

READ ALSO: N’Assembly seeks suggestions on dealing with hate speech, fake news

“The YPF will sustain the inauguration of the Forum in State Houses of Assembly to build the capacity of members and activate the inclusion of young persons in governance, leadership and the democratic process.

“The YPF acknowledges the commitment of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly to youth inclusion and the support for the YPF. The YPF calls on the leadership of the National Assembly to increase the support to the YPF and to ensure representation of young legislators on special committees like the Constitution Review Committee.”

It further stated that “The YPF calls for increased partnership and support from donor partners, civil society and professional organizations in achieving the mission of the forum. The YPF appreciates YIAGA Africa and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for supporting the YPF.”