The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has asked the federal government to reconsider its proposed plan to ban social media.
CityNews recalls that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had called for the banning of social media in the country in order to curb fake news.
The government had also initiated a bill in the Senate entitled ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation 2019’.
The bill which has passed second reading at the senate received varied reactions across social media with many Nigerians calling for it to be scrapped.
Speaking on the proposed regulation on Wednesday at the special summit on security in Abuja, the Sultan called on the federal government to regulate the usage of social media in the country.
The monarch rejected the calls for a total ban on social media, but asked the government to take a cue from countries that have successfully regulated it.
He said: “As lawmakers, what do you do about social media? I’m not saying ban social media but regulate it.
“We’ve seen it happen all over the world. Why can’t Nigeria borrow from that? It’s important for us and I hope this seminar will discuss some of these issues and when you’re ready with your decision, call some of us back, like the national council of traditional rulers. We will sit together once more.”
Speaking on the security situation in the country, he called for an end to ethnic and religious profiling.
“It’s high time we put aside ethnic and religious profiling. Stop profiling criminals. Call them by their names. No ethnic or religious group will be happy that every day, you are calling his own side of the coin the bad one, even when you know there are good ones that are larger in number,” he said.
“Unless we come together and look at the greater figure which is Nigeria and work for the country to move forward, we will continue having these problems.”