Governors and monarchs in the South-West region have thrown their weight behind plans by the Federal government to regulate social media in the country.
The governors and monarchs had a meeting in Lagos state on Sunday, November 8, with a Presidential delegation, following the crisis that engulfed many states in the region in the wake of the EndSARS protest.
After the meeting, the governors and monarchs released a communique lamenting about the negative effect of fake news peddled on social media during the recent EndSARS protests and the ensuing violence.
“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
Present at the meeting were Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, 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.
Monarchs in the region who attended the meeting were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, amongst others, were also present at the meeting.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, and ministers from the region also attended the meeting.
Many Nigerians have kicked against the planned regulation of social media, describing it as a breach of their rights to expression. A bill on the regulation is before the national assembly and has scaled second reading at the senate.