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Olusegun Odebunmi Suspends His Press Gagging Bill For Consultation

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According to the Nation Online, Hon. Olusegun Odebunmi from Oyo State, who recently introduced a bill to control the press in Nigeria, has suspended the bill temporarily to allow for consultation for 3, 4 or 5 weeks, after which he will bring it back and try to get it passed again.

The lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency in Oyo State, Olusegun Odebunmi, who sponsored the bills for amendments of laws establishing the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria Press Council (NPC), has stated the legislative process on the bills has been suspended for further consultations.

He spoke following widespread protests by the print media against the media regulation bill being debated at the House of Representatives.

“Personally, I’m suspending the process for more consultation,” he stated.“What I’m saying is that the NUJ cannot gag the activities of the national assembly by saying ‘No you must drop it’, because obviously, that is not the way.

“We have suspended the process for more consultation to happen on it. They demanded for a lot of time and I said ‘no problem, we have given you; even if you spend three, four to five weeks.

“So far, more consultations from critical stakeholders, and many people have been submitting their memoranda to the national assembly even within the industry.

“My intention is not to gag the press and unless all the practitioners can say all is well with the industry, to the best of my knowledge I know all is not well. And I know the National Assembly has the power to look into the existing act.

“All is not well with the NPC agency. It is an agency of government and you’re expecting something to be given back to the society but until now nothing has been coming from the agency.”

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