Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, has said that the Northern Governors Forum are advocating for the responsible use of social media in order to stop the transmission of fake news, hate speech and incitement.
Lalong stated this on Wednesday in Jos, during the 2020 Batch ‘B’ Pre-orientation Workshop held at the Eliel event Centre.
Declaring the event opened, Governor Lalong appealed to the management of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC), to create further programmes meant for youth engagement and self reliance.
The governor also advised the NYSC Management to include in the orientation course, a programme on social media usage and responsibility.
According to him, the social media if controlled, has enormous potential of improving communication and interaction in the society.
Governor Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, said the recent events of the #ENDSARS protest, where according to him, Government and its officials as well as other innocent persons were maligned, falsely castigated and even put in danger or attacked, calls for something to be done to ensure the responsible use of the social media space.
“That is why we recently suggested at the Northern Governors Forum meeting held on Monday (2nd November, 2020), in Kaduna that the time has come for some mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that those who misuse the social media or put the lives of others in danger are held accountable.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this position does not intend to gag, muzzle or suppress freedom of speech and expression of Nigerians as it is being misinterpreted in some quarters. We are only advocating for responsibility and accountability as any of us can be a victim of fake news, hate speech and incitement,” he explained.
The governor urged the NYSC management to ensure the potential Corps members adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines when Camp reopens, saying the state government will work hand in hand with the State Coordinator to enhance the safety and comfort of the corps members posted to the State.
The governor condemned the violence and the mass looting that took place in in the state in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protest, sayiing his government has already began engagement with youths to ensure they are on the same page, in order to avoid the ugly experiences that have left the state counting huge losses.
He assured the potential Corps Members that Plateau State is open to all people from not only Nigeria, but across the world, saying his people are very hospitable and accommodating.