- Facts have emerged as to why the federal government did not shut down social media during the EndSARS protests
- According to the minister of youth and sports, Dare Sunday, the government was careful not to violate Nigerians' right to the freedom of speech
- However, Dare pointed out that social media was used to propel fake news which in turn pushed some persons into violence
During the EndSARS nationwide protests in Nigeria, there were fears that the social media would be shut down by the federal government but that did not happen.
The minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government allowed the cyberspace in the country to remain open so as not to infringe on Nigerians' right to freedom of speech.
Dare, during an interview on Channels TV, said that this resolve by the president is contrary to some of the restrictive measures adopted by the government of other nations.
The minister went on to say that the use of social media by youths to cry out and express displeasure over police brutality was commendable.
“The fact that our youths used it to mobilise is commendable. But the talk about the regulation of the social media has been around for a while. We’ve seen other countries taking practical steps in that direction, this country has not done that.
“Even during the #EndSARS protests, the country had an option (but) the country never went for that final option.
“There was no time the cyberspace was shut down, people were still able to connect themselves through the various social media platforms. And that shows a government that is committed to the rights of freedom and association of every citizen of this country.”
However, the minister noted that one of the disadvantages of the tool is that it is used by some persons to propagate fake news.
He went on to say that social media was used to brainwash some persons into believing that violence was better than dialogue with the government during the protests.
Meanwhile, President Buhari appealed to youths in Nigeria to end street protests and get involved in negotiations aimed at ending police brutality in the country.
Buhari made the appeal on Sunday, November 1, at an event to mark the maiden national youth day celebration.
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