Nigerians who love to get their news from print newspapers woke up on Monday morning to see front pages of their dailies with a picture of a human with a caged mouth.
This action is based on a message from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) about the adverse effects of the controversial media bills in the national assembly.
The controversial bills are the Nigerian broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) Act amendment bills, the latter of which gives the President the right to appoint the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Press Council (NPC). Also, all other members of the board shall be appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Minister of Information.
There is also a new bill to regulate social and online media that the government is trying to introduce
In protest against the media bill, Nigerian Newspapers used their platforms to speak out against government’s planned “Information Blackout”. “It’s not just against the media….it’s about society’s right to know, your right to be heard,” the caption read.
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, has always defended the bills and in June, he urged lawmakers to grant full regulatory powers over internet broadcasting and all online media outfits to government, arguing that the country’s laws must not be subservient to international telecommunication union treaties.
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