Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State and one of Nigeria’s most accomplished journalists, has promised to lead a media team to Abuja to lobby National Assembly to throw out what he described as the obnoxious hate bill which is currently before the Senate.
Speaking as the Chairman of the 15th National Conference of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, in Sokoto, days back, Osoba wondered why the established media houses in Nigeria should be made victims of some unprofessional misbehaviour by some social media practitioners who are not trained journalists.
He stated that current political office holders at all levels are beneficiaries of the sustained fight for return to democracy in Nigeria, which the same media they are now trying to gag championed.
The Managing Director of Daily Times recalled that many journalists suffered detention while others went on exile while fighting military dictatorship.
Continuing, Chief Osoba added that some newspaper houses were closed down then and some bombed by the military junta. He therefore urged the National Assembly members to bear all these in mind when debating the hate bill which for some time now has been generating so much controversy.
“Nigerians generally will all be victims of the provisions of the bill if allowed to sail through because it will destroy the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution.” He warned.
Finally, he reminded those pushing the bill to remember that “there are enough laws in our statute for aggrieved members of the society to protect them against libel and defamation” and gave personal experiences, especially when he had cause to take some newspapers to court when he felt defamed – and despite being a journalist himself.