Members of the youth wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have faulted the quest by Senator Sani Musa to become the party’s national chairman, saying Sani lacked the democratic credentials to lead APC at this time.
Senator Musa, representing Niger East senatorial district in the National Assembly, initiated the controversial ‘Protection from Internet Falsehoods and Manipulation and Other Related Matters Bill, 2019’ popularly known as “Anti-Social Media” bill.
The youth, under the aegis of APC Coalition for Free Speech, said it was ludicrous for a man who sought to deal a death blow on free speech to turn around to ride on the back of the same free speech to lead the largest party in Africa.
Had the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)- dominated National Assembly passed into Bill into law before the 2015 elections, argued the youth, it would have been difficult for APC to win the elections.
“Imagine we if had such law in 2015. We were all over the social media space- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, pointing out why PDP should be voted out of power. Any overzealous PDP chieftain could easily have hidden behind such law and thrown us all into prison,” the group’s convener Comrade Bologi Ndanusa told The Authority.
“It is bad enough that, unlike the PDP, we do not have ‘democracy’ as part of our party name. It would be a complete disaster if a man who promotes the gagging of free speech finds his way into our part secretariat as national chairman.
“How do we explain that it is Senator Musa out of the over 40- 50 million members of our beloved party that we agreed to lead us? God forbid! Unborn generations shall not forgive us,” Niger-born Ndanusa stated.
“Senator Sani’s bill titled ‘The Protection from Internet Falsehoods and Manipulation and Other Related Matters Bill, 2019’ caused us in the APC enough embarrassment. We shouldn’t be seen to be in support of such an undemocratic Bill ” added the youth leader.
He continued, “We, of the Niger East senatorial district are appalled by this obnoxious Bill. In fact, we have made it clear enough that the Bill is his private brainwave and representative of the progressives of the senatorial district.
“Isn’t it strange the same man who sought to muzzle free speech on the internet is now all over the social media space promoting his doomed chairmanship campaign?” quizzed Ndanusa, stressing, “the least we can do is to stop Musa and all other anti-democratic elements in APC.”
Musa’s Bill had led to a public display of outrage from rights groups and several Nigerians who saw it as an attempt to gag the citizenry.