Nigerian Government Had The Option Of Shutting Down Social Media During #EndsSARS Protests — Minister Says


The Federal Government had the option of shutting down the social media space in Nigeria during the #EndSARS protests but chose not to tread the path.

These were the words of Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.

Dare spoke on Monday while featuring on Channels Tv’s programme Sunrise Daily.

According to him, the government did that to allow freedom of expression.

The minister said other countries had taken certain measures to exercise some level of restraint over the cyberspace but Nigeria was yet to do so.

He, however, said the internet and social media have tremendous benefits but “as a country, we must start to think of how to curtail fake news.

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“There must be some level of responsibility and some level of punishment to those that will create chaos out of mischief in our country.”

Dare said the fact that the Nigerian youths used the social media to drive the recent #EndSARS protests against police brutality is laudable, insisting that the cyberspace must be regulated.

He said, “The fact that how 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.

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“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.”

He said the National Assembly will do justice to the proposed regulation of the social media to guard against the spread of fake news.

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