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Governor Seriake Dickson Of Bayelsa State Proposes Draconian Law Against Rumour Mongering

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has added to his notoriety by asking the state legislature to pass a bill that seeks to punish so-called malicious rumour mongering and public misinformation.

According to SaharaReporters, Mr. Dickson has concluded plans to forward a bill to the state legislature stipulating stiff punishment for those who peddle rumours.

The governor himself made the disclosure about the proposed law at a ceremony in Government House, Yenogoa where he inaugurated a committee to tackle “rumour mongering.” Mr. Dickson stated that the move became imperative because of what he alleged to be an ever-increasing rate of rumour mongering and the consequences of rumours on individuals and the state in general.

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Governor Dickson claimed that the passage of anti-rumour such legislation was necessary to check the unwholesome practice. He accused propagandists in the state of promoting a recent spate of rumour mongering in the state. He insisted that the propagandists did not mean well for the state and warned that anyone found to have breached the proposed legislation would be punished in order to deter others. He said:

“Going forward, we hope to sponsor a legislation that will provide punishment for false dissemination of information and propaganda, either against the reputation of private individuals or about government or its officials. Of course, we are all aware that the existing laws provide for offences such as criminal defamation of character and so on. But we are going to come up with a legislation to punish ‘dem say, dem say’ people.”

What are your thoughts on this bill?

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