Amnesty International has condemned social media regulation proposed by Nigerian leaders, saying the government can jail its critics for three years if such becomes a law.
It also said that the government can shut down the internet or limit access if it succeeds in regulating social media.
Amnesty International made this known in a series of tweets on its X account on Saturday.
It said, “The social media regulation law keenly pushed by Nigerian politicians is set to be subject to vague and broad interpretations and will impose incredibly harsh punishments simply for criticising the authorities.”
“Social media users will be punished for freely expressing their opinions. Govt. can arbitrarily shut down the internet and limit access to social media. Criticising the government will be punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.”
The human rights organisation said this in reaction to by President Bola Tinubu’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, calling for social media regulation.
Gbajabiamila, a former Speaker of the House had said, “Social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated.”.
Over the years, Nigerians have used social media for national discourse, to air their views, mobilise protests and criticise politicians and government policies.
A bill proposed to regulate social media under former President Muhammadu Buhari, failed as Nigerians rejected it, that it could be used to gag freedom of speech.