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APC Lawmaker, Olusegun Odebunmi Suspends Controversial Press Gagging Bill
After being lambasted over a controversial press gagging bill he sponsored, the lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/Surulere Federal Constituency in Oyo State, Olusegun Odebunmi has asked for the controversial bill to be suspended.
Odebunmi sponsored the bills for amendments of laws establishing the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria Press Council (NPC).
He said he decided to have the bill 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.”