I think the bill seeks to address an issue but how do we clearly differentiate an unlawful gathering from a peaceful protest? And what about when some politicians pay mobs to turn a peaceful protest to a riot and probably the organizers of that peaceful protest will be indicted? This bill is quite ambiguous and I think it could be used by these politicians to legally infringe on our right to peaceful protest.
This bill will definitely not make it out of the House of Representatives. It is dead on arrival. I think there are more important things to do than wasting time preparing any bill against unlawful protests. Protest is a means of expressing one’s feelings about injustice. Who determines if a protest is lawful? The same leaders created the negative situation. Is it not because the leaders were not listening that made people to protest? A child cannot be beaten and then asked not to cry. Government should seek ways to feel the pulse of the people and address issues before they get out of hand.
This will be going against the universal declaration of human rights, which gives rights to individuals to express themselves. It will also institute an autocratic government in this country and if it is instituted, it means no one can hold the government accountable any longer.
It is a dicey situation. The right to peaceful protest is the heartbeat of true democracy. The House of Reps is in the process of stifling protest and criminalizing it by inserting a new Section 69 in the Criminal Code. How do you determine that a protest is peaceful, that an assembly is unlawful? This amendment is anti-democracy and should be struck off immediately. It is contrary to sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
This bill shouldn’t be passed because it will limit the freedom of expression of citizens. The masses are watchdogs to correct government on any arbitrary decision; this can be done by peaceful protests. The protesters are the masses who are concerned about harmful decisions made by government. Democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people. If Nigeria is operating a democracy, such a bill should not be made into law.
I do not support the bill. Meanwhile, should this be what the leaders are thinking about? Instead of thinking on what to do to better the lives of the citizens, it is one drama or the other. Nigeria is just full of dramas. Well, what do you expect? This is what happens when leaders don’t even know the Constitution of their country.
The government that does not tell itself the truth can do nothing to solve its multiple problems. If this bill is truly before the National Assembly and is being considered, it goes to show that these politicians only think of self-preservation. It is only a weak and wicked father that would go to any length to ensure his children’s voices are never heard.
The government should state categorically what they mean by unlawful protest, because protest comes from not being satisfied with how things are in your country. How do we channel our opinions on things we are not satisfied about? Is there no provision for protests by citizens? What is our country turning into?
My take on this is straightforward. History is made so the future can refer to it, and judging from that, there has been no durable solution by using violence. Proper use of the freedom of speech can also be an effective tool for influencing government policies rather than violence. Hence, I support the idea.
There are no unlawful protesters because every person has a right to protest according to the constitution of Nigeria and international law. There cannot be any law that seeks to curtail the rights of the people. It is null and void and should not be looked at twice.
The House of Representatives members are power drunk. It is written in Nigerian constitution that every citizen has the right to protest. How then do the citizens express their grievances to the government if not through protests? I also feel this administration sees citizens as a threat when they ask for their constitutional rights.
I must say that those who can be regarded as unlawful protesters are those that assemble themselves to disturb the peace of the country, which could be regarded as riot, and can be charged for felony. But if it is a peaceful protest, the government should allow that as we are in the 21st century and I believe Nigeria is practicing democracy. Also, our leaders need to change their mindset towards protesters because protest is a right, not a crime.
Definitely, this is the way to go. These unlawful protesters stir up so much trouble and unrest in the society all in the name of fighting for their rights. If this bill is passed into law, it would serve as a lesson to all Nigerians and even promote peace.
I believe if we can’t protest in a democracy; then this bill is to shut people up and the long avoided chaos will surface, where there is no right or freedom of expression. The government’s failure can never be covered with the bill. The bill is dead on arrival, if passed then, we are no longer practicing democracy.
The bill should only be passed if the protesters are indeed unlawful protesters. Before this administration, there have always been peaceful protests only that security agents and some politicians turn peaceful protests to riots by attacking the protesters. The right to protest is a fundamental human right, so citizens have the right to challenge government and even protest if not satisfied with some decisions made by government.
It is a very simple matter. The bill should be discarded. It is invalid and unlawful. They should not take the only hope of the common man to get his demands met. As long as it is not violent, I see no issue whatsoever. Let us not complicate matters; the bill should be discarded.
All our leaders want to do is to silence the citizens especially the youths. Pushing people to the wall and not expecting a reaction is unrealistic. Closing avenues for people to express their disagreement is cowardice and totally unnecessary. There is no need for such bill, let the people protest if they choose to. For all I know is that all the protest that has been going on so far has been peaceful. The government knows what they are doing and I know that very soon their bad deeds would catch up on them.
The Constitution gives us the right to protest. We can protest on the streets, sidewalks and parks. Protests turn to riots when hijacked by counter-protesters thereby making genuine protesters look bad. I suggest government put in place a medium through which we can protest, guarded by the police so that those who are out to hijack the protest can be fished out.