#EndSARS: ‘We Had Option to Shutdown Social Media’ – Minister Says as He Advocates Cyberspace Regulation

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#EndSARS: ‘We Had Option to Shutdown Social Media’ – Minister says as he Advocates Cyberspace Regulation
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development said that even though the Federal Government had the option to shut down the social media space to quell the #EndSARS protests that took place last month, it chose to allow the freedom of expression.

The minister who disclosed this while featuring on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme said there was need to ensure control of the cyberspace.

Dare said other nations had undertaken measures to assert some level of limitation over the social media space but Nigeria remained an exception.

The minister while admitting that the social media have enormous benefits, said that as a country, we must start to think of how to curtail fake news. There must be some level of responsibility and some level of punishment to those that create chaos out of mischief in our country.

He commended the use of social media by Nigerian youths to fuel the #EndSARS movement but maintained that the internet must be controlled.

“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,” Dare said

According to the minister, the social media was used to peddle fake news which provoked some youths to violence.

He added “Where you have fake news destroying lives, the government has a responsibility to make sure that there is a level of control. It is not censorship but some level of control.”

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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