In the South-West area, governors and monarchs have thrown their weight behind the Federal government’s proposals to control the country’s social media.
The governors and monarchs had a meeting with a presidential delegation in Lagos state on Sunday, November 8, following the crisis that engulfed several states in the region in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest.
After the conference, during the recent EndSARS protests and the subsequent violence, the governors and monarchs issued a communique lamenting the negative impact of false news peddled on social media.
“We recognise the damaging and negative impact of fake/false news and worry about its destructive and dangerous potency of fake news. We call on the federal government to use the instrumentality of existing laws and those regulations bench-marked from other countries to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news. 2015 Cyber Act will also be fully used.
Federal Government should ensure that technology is used effectively for the advancement of the Nigerian Security and not its destruction by working with the technology cum social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The regime of checks and gatekeeping should be fully employed.” the communique read in part
The Governors of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State were present at the meeting.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, among others, were also present at the meeting in the area that participated in the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by the President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari; the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; the Police Inspector General, Muhammad Adamu; and ministers from the region.
The proposed regulation of social media has been opposed by many Nigerians, describing it as an infringement of their freedom of speech. A legislative bill is before the national assembly and the Senate has increased its second reading.