The conversation around regulating social media has been reignited after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed insisted that the government will inevitably put laws in place to regulate the kind of information that Nigerians are allowed to put out on social media.
Speaking to Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House in Abuja, Mohammed said that the government will pursue the objective at all cost as the move was needed to curb hate speech and fake news for the sake of unity in the country.
“I assure you that no matter the level of attacks, whether sponsored or otherwise, the government holds a duty to Nigerians not to allow hate speech and fake news to divide the country.”
The argument of using extreme measures to maintain unity in Nigeria has always led to catastrophic consequences that end up dividing the nation further.
Nigerians strongly rejected the idea of regulating speech on social media when it was first proposed in the past. But if the proposition scales through this time, Nigeria will be one of the few democratic nations that restrict freedom of speech online.
Many people believe that the restriction would put a strain on the country’s fragile democracy.