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Tinubu worried about social media menace amid Nigerians’ cry of hunger

“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,” said Mr Tinubu.

• February 9, 2024

Amidst public outrage sparked by economic hardship in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu insists social media must be regulated, describing it as a societal menace. 

Mr Tinubu said this through his chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, who represented him on Thursday at the presentation of a book written by former Lagos governor and minister of works, Babatunde Fashola, according to a statement by Tunde Alao, the 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 added, “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.” 

Th president’s comments amid swelling criticisms and protests against Mr Tinubu’s government over economic hardship as inflation drives food prices up astronomically.

Over the years, Nigerians have deployed social media as a tool for driving national discussions, expressing myriad opinions, mobilising for protests and criticising erring politicians and government policies, while political parties deploy same for campaign, propaganda and divisive fake news

The ‘European Union Election Observation Mission NIGERIA 2023 Final Report’ listed aviation minister Festus Keyamo and Fani Kayode among notorious fake news purveyors during the 2023 general elections.

A bill proposed to regulate social media under Mr Tinubu’s predecessor, former president Muhammadu Buhari, failed as Nigerians pushed back, fearing it could be weaponised to gag public opinion.

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