Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday said the suspension of Twitter’s operation in Nigeria was a very tough decision the Federal Government had to take.
He said it was a tough decision because many Nigerian youths also use the platform for business.
Mohammed spoke at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos at the meeting of Information Managers of APC Government.
He described the social media as a double-edged sword, providing opportunities and challenges perhaps in equal measure.
“For the information and communication manager, the so-called new media provides the ultimate test. As you all know, we recently had to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the threat posed by the gross abuse of the platform to the nation’s peace and unity.
“Twitter is the platform of choice for separatist campaigners, especially those of them residing outside the country, who use it to issue directives to their followers in Nigeria to attack our security forces as well as to burn police stations and INEC offices.
“It was a tough decision to take, considering that many of our youths also use the platform for business. Such is the challenge posed by the social media. At its request, the government has agreed to engage with Twitter and, hopefully, we can both chart a path forward, without compromising our national interest.
“While many have accused us of stifling the press with the ban, we say Twitter is just one of many social media platforms being used by Nigerians. WhatsApp, which is most used by Nigerians, is there. And there is Facebook, Instagram, Google hangout, etc,” he said.
Mohammed said leveraging the new information and digital technology would undoubtedly facilitate the work of government information and communication managers.
He stated that the multiplicity, immediacy and pervasiveness of the platforms of information dissemination meant that more people could be reached much faster.
“Ordinarily, that should be a good thing. But when you remember that those who are trying hard to distort the information you are putting out also have access to the same technology, you will realize the meaning of the paradox of technology that I spoke about earlier. In other words, the democratization of the technology of information dissemination is posing new challenges to us.
“Anyone can wake up this morning and decide to become an online newspaper publisher, online television station owner, online radio station operator, a purveyor of news, photographs and videos using the numerous Social media platforms.
“They spread whatever information that catches their fancy without engaging in the rigours of accuracy, fact-checking and fairness imposed by the traditional media. But there is another problem: They have their own public, and this public believes whatever information they put out! To worsen matters, the traditional media is now increasingly regurgitating whatever is put out by these emergency purveyors of information,” he said.
“Then, and this is avoidable, there is the painful lack of synergy among managers of information and communication in all strata of our government. The clear demarcation of responsibilities is breached at will, as we seem to be competing against ourselves. Information Managers rarely compare notes, thus duplicating efforts while the myriad of information being generated from the various programmes I have listed above do not percolate enough to the grassroots, because the managers at lower levels do not utilize them well, or perhaps are not even aware of them,” he added.
#EndSARS Memorial: Nigerian youths plan to shutdown Lekki Toll Gate tomorrow
The Nigerian youths have confirmed that the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos will be shut down tomorrow, Wednesday 20.
According to the youths, the #Endsars Memorial Car Procession will be held at the toll gate from 8 am.
The notifier, shared by Nigerian singer Falz, said the procession is “in memory of the lives lost on the 20-10-20.
“We should all endeavour to stay in our vehicles all throughout the procession and also in groups for safety reasons.
“Please be sure to arrive on time so we can proceed in unity together,” the notifier stated.
This plan was also confirmed by Comedian Mr Macaromi, who shared e-fliers of the car procession and the order of programme on his Instagram page.
Meanwhile Falz, on his part, noted that nothing will stop the procession.
“It is impossible for us not to memorialize our fallen heroes,” Falz stated on Instagram.
However, some youths are also planning a counter-protest titled “Defend Lagos.”
The Defend Lagos group in a trending message said:
“About a year ago, this carnage fell on Lagos State while Lagosians thought it was just going to be a protest. Lagos State was destroyed by End SARS protesters.
“Lagosians are ready to defend Lagos NOW. Never again will Lagos be destroyed.”
Tags: #Endsars Memorial
University of Ibadan loses two students in 24 hours
A 200 level student of the University of Ibadan (UI), Oluwaseun Ayomide Adeyemo, yesterday died in a car accident.
The student of the department of Microbiology was involved in a car accident around Mobil filling station, UI Ojoo axis.
She was rushed to the University Health Clinic popularly known as Jaja but efforts to save her life proved abortive as she passed on due to excessive loss of blood.
Her death came barely 24 hours as the university community was mourning the loss of a 400 level student of the department of History, Adebayo Adegoke.
Adegoke was allegedly shot by robbers around Pre-Boye World Shopping Complex in the late hours of 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.
A source, who preferred anonymity said, the deceased, who lived in Independence hall was shot and efforts to save his life proved abortive as he was unable to make it to the hospital.
The students’ union officials were joined by the Dean Students Affairs, Professor A. Abiona, Head of Department of History and some other students’ leaders to visit the Bodija police station in order to ensure proper investigation is carried out on the deaths.
Another building collapses in Lagos
A building collapsed Monday night at No. 97, Lagos Road in the Haruna area of Ikorodu.
The incident occurred around 10pm. Two persons, a male and a female, were confirmed injured.
The victims are currently at the Ikorodu General Hospital receiving treatment.
At least three persons are trapped but no casualty yet, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.
It was gathered that after the structure disintegrated, residents within the area mobilised to carry out initial rescue.
The Fire Service and Police responded on time but could not do much due to unavailability of equipment to lift rubbles.
A rescue operation was ongoing as at press time.
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