Leaders from the northern part of the country, including Senate President Ahmed Lawan, governors of the 19 northern states, top federal government officials and royal fathers under the northern traditional rulers council led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday called for the censorship of social media practice in the country.
The decision to get the federal government to censor the country’s social media space was taken at a crucial meeting of the northern leaders in Kaduna State.
The meeting also had in attendance the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari; minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and other political leaders in the region.
A communiqué read by Plateau State governor and chairman Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), Simon Lalong, after a closed door meeting noted that the northern leaders took note of the devastating effect of the uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news.
They rejected and condemned what they described as the subversive actions of the #EndSARs protesters, noting that the superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot box took advantage of the peaceful protests to push for their separative agenda.
The northern leaders endorsed the indivisibility and oneness of the nation, just as stressed the need to keep a strict watch on the Federal Capital Territory to guide against unwarranted and destructive protests to safeguard critical assets of the nation.
Reading the communiqué, Lalong said the meeting appreciated the roles of traditional rulers in containing the menace of #EndSARs protests in the north and collectively agreed that traditional rulers be given formal roles in the governance architecture of the country.
Lalong noted that the forum also commended religious leaders, including the Ulamas, JNI and CAN for their positive intervention in resolving the #EndSARs conflict, even as it further hailed the National Assembly and the presidency for being proactive in addressing the issues of #EndSARs protests across the country.
The communique reads:” In furtherance to its resolution to further engage with the critical stakeholders of the North, the Northern States Governors Forum held a meeting today Monday, 2nd of November, 2020 at the Council Chamber of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.
“After extensive deliberations the following resolutions were arrived at: (the forum) appreciates the roles of Traditional rulers in containing the menace of #Endsars protests in the north; collectively agreed that traditional rulers be given formal roles in the governance architecture of the Country.
“The meeting rejects and condemns the subversive acțions of the #Endsars protesters. The superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot Box soon took advantage of the peaceful protests to push for their separative agenda. The meeting endorsed the indivisibility, indissolubility and oneness of the Nation.
“The meeting took note of the devastating effect of the uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news. Therefore, it calls for major control mechanism and censorship of the social media practice in Nigeria. Meeting raises attention on the need to keep strict watch on the Federal Capital Territory to guide against unwarranted and destructives protests to safeguard critical assets of the Nation.
“Meeting commends the national Assembly and the Presidency in being proactive in addressing the issues of Endsars protests across the country. Need to further push for amicable resolutions of ASUU strikes to enable students resume their studies.
“Meeting resolved that there is the need for regular meetings of this nature, calls for further engagement with other critical stakeholders such as Religious Leaders, Business community, youths leaders etc”.
Accordingly, Lalong said the meeting approved the setting up of two major engagement committees namely committee on roles of traditional rulers’s membership, with the Emir of Lafiya as chairman and two representatives from the National Assembly, one representative from each of the 3 zones and one from the Federal Executive Council.
The second committee is the committee on Youth and Civil Societies which has the Emir of Zazzau as chairman, one representative each from the Geo Political Zones, one youth each for the Geo political Zones, one representative of women / girls, one each from Muslim and Christian Clerics, persons living with disability, business community, and representative of the Inspector General of Police.