- The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has responded to questions about the regulation of social media in Nigeria
- Gbajabiamila explained why Nigeria could find itself in trouble if laws are not enacted to regulate social media
- Many Nigerians have accused the government of trying to gag freedom of expressing under the guise of regulating social media
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has backed calls for the regulation of social media.
Gbajabiamila said the regulation must be imposed to prevent the evil of social media from taking root in the country.
The speaker said:
“The social media is the most potent weapon for good and for evil. While we welcome the good, we must prepare over the evil. You cannot use the idea of free speech to destroy me.''
According to Premium Times, the lawmaker stated that everything in life needed regulation.
National Assembly considering regulating social media
He explained that most democracies in the world today are making efforts to regulate social media, noting that the National Assembly has been considering how to regulate social media.
The politician explained that regulation of social media is necessary to protect every single citizen in the country
Gbajabiamila, however, assured Nigerians that the position the National Assembly would take on the matter would be in the overall interest of the Nigerian people.
Mixed reactions from Nigerians
The speaker’s statement generated mixed reactions from Nigerians.
While some citizens backed his recommendations for the regulation of social media, others faulted the move.
Adamu Sadiq Abubakar, a resident of Minna in Niger state, said he is in support of the regulation of social media.
But another commentator, Boluwatife Ishola Johnson, told Legit.ng that while he agrees that social media should be regulated, he would advise the legislators to focus on more important matters.
I agree that everything needs regulations at certain points, but we can start with regulating the luxurious pays and comforts attached to governance in Nigeria so that other crucial and essential amenities can be enjoyed by the citizenry.''
As for David Seer, he expressed disappointment that the present national assembly leadership was in agreement with the executive on the regulation of social media.
The commentator said:
''It's unfortunate that this present national assembly leadership is just a rubber stamp of the executive arm of this present administration.''
Muhammad says social media not food
Meanwhile, Fatahu Muhammad, the member representing Daura federal constituency of Katsina state in the House of Representatives, has expressed disappointment at Nigerian youths, saying Twitter is not food that Nigerians require.
PM News reports that Muhammad, who is from President Muhammadu Buhari’s constituency, said social media needs to be regulated for youths to put Nigeria first and face the real problems.
He made the statement on Tuesday, June 22, during the investigative hearing organised by the House joint committees on information, national orientation, ethics, and values alongside the national security, justice, and commerce on the suspension of Twitter.