ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Amidst mounting public outcry over economic hardships in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu emphasizes the need for social media regulation, citing it as a societal concern.
Tinubu’s stance was conveyed by his chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, during the presentation of a book authored by former Lagos Governor and Minister of works, Babatunde Fashola, as reported by Tunde Alao, senior special assistant to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“The social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated. As many people do not understand that once the send button is hit, there is a potential to reach millions of people around the world, which is capable of causing a great danger not just in the society but even unintended consequences to the individuals that are receiving information which may include security of life,” said Mr Tinubu.
He continued, As citizens become more interested in governance, it is the government’s obligation to ensure that engagement with citizens springs with shared agreement on what the truth is, what is real and what is not.”
The president’s remarks come amidst growing criticisms and protests against his administration due to economic adversities, particularly soaring inflation driving food prices to unprecedented levels.
In Nigeria, social media has served as a platform for national dialogue, diverse expressions, protest mobilization, and criticism of political figures and policies.
However, it has also been utilized for political campaigns, propaganda, and dissemination of false information, as noted in the ‘European Union Election Observation Mission NIGERIA 2023 Final Report,’ which identified individuals like aviation minister Festus Keyamo and Fani Kayode as propagators of fake news during the 2023 general elections.
Previous attempts to regulate social media, notably under Tinubu’s predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari, faced public resistance amid concerns that such measures could be exploited to stifle public discourse and dissenting voices.