Nigeria: Govt will not clamp down on Social Media - Minister

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The Nigerian government assured on Monday that it will not seek to regulate the Social Media, but urged its practitioners to self-regulate in order not to lose credibility.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed gave the assurance in Lagos during a meeting with Social Media practitioners.

''Let me assure you that the Federal Government does not intend to stifle free speech or abridge the rights of Nigerians to air their views freely. We are not about to regulate or stultify the Social Media. This explains why we are asking you to self-regulate.

''That is why we are encouraging you to rein in the impostors among you and show restraint when dealing with issues of national unity, issues of Nigeria's sovereignty, as well as issues concerning the lives and well-being of Nigerians.

''What I am saying in essence is that you must self-regulate in order not to self-destruct. Self-regulation allows you to weed out the charlatans among you in order to maintain your credibility and ensure your survival. Lose credibility and lose it all,'' he said.

The Minister described as alarming the spiralling level of hatred among Nigerians on the Social Media in recent times, saying that the kind of debate that is being carried out on the platform is exploiting the fault lines in our national unity.

''It (hate debate) is adding fuel to some low-intensity fires and, if left unchecked, could conflagrate and consume all of us. Remember, you need a peaceful country before you can even dream of greatness. You need a united, strong and virile country to provide the necessary environment for your dreams to come true.

The Minister assured that his doors are open and that he is willing to work with the Social Media Influencers in the interest of the good people of Nigeria.

''Feel free to call us to clarify issues, obtain facts and figures on issues of national interest and to also give us a feedback from the citizens,'' he said.
-0- PANA SEG 23Nov2015

23 november 2015 20:47:27

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