Jeremiah Useni, former Senator representing Plateau South in the National Assembly has cautioned against the move to regulate the Social Media in Nigeria, adding that the individuals seeking the regulation must show restraint so that they don’t allow selfish reasons to becloud their sense of judgment.
Useni, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, told those in authority that they should be more concerned about transforming governance to positively impact on the lives of ordinary citizens rather than being engrossed with the scramble to regulate the social media.
Speaking in Jos at the inaugural lecture of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists, titled “Insecurity and the quest for lasting peace in Nigeria: The role of the media”, he emphasized that censoring the social media would have negative impact on the traditional media and journalists in the country as it would deny civil society and the public the opportunity to demand accountability and good governance from the constituted authority.
Represented at the event by his Media Consultant, Yiljap Abraham, he said instead of regulating the social media, why not the authorities transform governance to make impact in the lives of citizens?
The social media platforms are already self regulated by conditions that the news, conversations or dialogue taking place through the platform are monitored and controlled as defined guidelines by their various administrators.
“The danger of this move is when any regulatory agency becomes captured by the people it is supposed to regulate. For instance, a situation where an agency that is supposed to regulate social media is captured by politicians and activists who might want to use their position to suppress the arguments of their political opponents.
“While I do not condone the act of dissemination of fake news, but I also frown at the attempt to hide under fake news to regulate the social media for selfish reasons.”