The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari has called for the regulation of social media, noting that China with about 1.3 billion people had done so, stressing that many people could not visit their villages on account of fake news broadcasts.
She said that things were getting out of hand, saying that her husband alone cannot handle the challenges facing the nation and admonished the political leaders to work together to bail the country of out of the challenges.
She spoke on Friday at the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) General Assembly and National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the National Mosque Abuja, with the theme, “Islam and National Development”.
She said, “On this issue of social media, you cannot just sit in the comfort of your house and tweet that the Vice President has resigned. It is a serious issue. If China can control over 1.3bn people on social media, I see no reason why Nigeria cannot attempt controlling only 180m people.”
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo while formally declaring the conference opened, admonished Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper regardless of their religious affiliation, as all Nigerians are equal.
He stated, “It is my view that the weight of ensuring that this country is on the right track is on our leaders. We should be our brother’s keeper no matter the religion. We should always be ready to make sacrifices for one another. We have religious and tribal tension in this country. Many are beating the drum of ethnic and religious war. We are at a historic juncture of our nation.”
The NSCIA President-General and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III in his opening remarks, said the nation must come together to address its challenges, insisting that girl-child education and the Almajiri phenomenon must be addressed urgently.
He also disagreed with the calls for social media regulation, stating that there were laws to deal with the abuse of the platforms.
“I have received so many calls on the need to regulate social media. In Nigeria, there are so many laws that can deal with this issue.
“Some people even proposed having a hate speech law. We must accept the outcome of whatever the people decided. After all, people voted for our political leaders. Let us listen to the voices of the people. It is important for us to do the wish of Nigerians,” the Sultan said.