The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, today insisted on the regulation of social media in the country.
Gbajabiamila, who appeared on a Channels TV programme, “A Chat with Young Nigerians” today, said the social media must be regulated in order to “protect the national interests.”
He argued that though the lower legislative chamber was yet to take any position on the suspension of micro-blogging platform, Twitter, by the Federal Government, it was very necessary to regulate social media.
The speaker said: “The social media is the most potent weapon for good and for evil. While we welcome the good, we must prepare for the evil. You cannot use the idea of free speech to destroy me.
“Most democracies in the world today are making efforts to regulate the social media and the National Assembly has been considering regulating the social media for long. But each time the issue comes up, Nigerians kick against it.
“It is something we need to do because we have a responsibility to protect every single citizen in this country and that is what we must do.
“We are elected by the people to represent them and ordinarily, we should be on their side. But this is not a beauty contest. You must listen to all sides. Government says Twitter poses threat to national security. What are the information available to them that we are not privy to?
“They have also said that it is not about the President’s tweet which was taken down but a mere coincidence. We are listening to the government because we have heard from the people.
“We agree that there is freedom of speech but the government is saying that freedom is not absolute. Even at that, the freedom can be protected but not at instance of the country.
“I am happy that Twitter and the government are already talking. In the end, I hope that the issue will be resolved in the best way possible.”
He assured Nigerians that whatever position the National Assembly takes would be in the overall interest of the Nigerians.