By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
Senator Ali Wakili representing Bauchi South has expressed regret that some Nigerians have turned social media into negativity to the detriment of the larger society rather than to spread knowledge, enhance humanity, and discover new environment to make it better.
He said that such Nigerians should have used the social media to enhance those status, but unfortunately turns it into negativity against ‘ourselves’ for the simple fact they have unfettered access to the facility to dish out tissues of lies, defame others insult.
The Senator was Thursday declaring open, Bauchi South Interactive Meeting with the theme ‘Free Speech, Social Media, and Democracy’ where he said that “Because of this leverage of the fact that you have unfettered access that you can send in messages to say whatever you want and denigrate persons”.
Wakili recalled that founders of the social media have on their plan, a mean of interaction between cultures and civilizations, and the need to spread knowledge and enhance humanity but not animalistic tendencies in us, poverty, diseases or scourge of insurgency, among others.
Senator Ali Wakili explained that all Nigerians rely on the Constitution of the country and the United Nations charter to claim freedom, stressing however that the acclaimed freedom is bounded by the provisions in the stature books.
“Your freedom starts where my own end or my own start where your own end. It can be curtailed, that is why there are laws, those laws are supposed to regulate the freedom. You discover that you are not in an animal’s kingdom and even in animal kingdom, the animals fear the lions”.
The Senator observed that because of politics, some people use the social media to create hate speech, tribe against tribe, looking at people and abusing their ethnic extraction or religion even if they make elders or fathers.
Wakili also decried the attitudes of followers whom he described as hypocrites, condemning leaders without reasons, saying that the followers are supposed to show leaders the path to follow, but not to denigrate them as with the case in the social media.
“So if you have very good followers, they will have very good leaders, if you have good leaders with integrity and determination like President Muhammadu Buhari. But in an environment where the followers seem to differ that is always sending complaints, you discover that the leadership has problem”.
The Senator also presented paper titled ‘Constitutional Power of the Legislature’, saying the meeting was organized to educate participants on how to make best use of social media, and bring himself closer to his constituents, and urged academics to enlighten people on the roles of the Executives and Legislators so that they could know where to channel their demands and who to hold liable for their needs.
The lead speaker in the meeting, who is also the program officer with the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Abdul Ganiyu Rufa’I Yakubu described the present period as critical as it is the moment Nigeria needs peace the most.
The speaker, also the CEO, Digital Development Hope, cautioned social media users against using vulgar words capable of destabilizing the country and causing chaos among the diverse citizens in the posts and comments they make on the social media.
Mr. Abdulganiyu Rufai Yakubu condemned some words being used on Facebook against certain Nigerians such as ‘Arne’ (Infidel) for Christians, ‘terrorists’ for Muslims, ‘Aboki’ for the Hausas and ‘products of baby factory’ to refer to the southerners are not only provocative but fan the embers of disunity and hatred among compatriots.
He said that social media networks were created to accord people the opportunity to interact, share information and foster friendship among them lamenting that some illiterate youths have now turned them as platforms to rain abuses, insults against fellow citizens and leaders, and spread rumours.
Senator Wakili decries negative use of social media
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.