Tinubu’s chief of staff Gbajabiamila calls for regulation of social media, says it’s societal menace

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila has called for the regulation of social media, saying it’s now a societal menace.

Femi Gbajabiamila, while representing President Bola Tinubu at the launch of a book written by Babatunde Fashola, former minister of works, on Thursday in Lagos, stressed the importance of accurate information in policy formulation and national development.

He warned against the danger of using social media in the dissemination of wrong information which has almost torn the country apart, stressing the need to regularize the framework of news dissemination on social media to avoid mis-information in the country.

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Gbajabiamila emphasized the importance of data in policy formulation for the growth of the country, stating that no developing country can succeed without adequate and well-informed data.

He said his administration has an obligation to engage in evidence-based discussions and data-reliant decision-making, hence the need for accurate data that will be used for better policy formulation and execution.

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“The social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated.

“As many people do not understand that once the send button is hit, there is a potential to reach millions of people around the world which is capable of causing a great danger not just in the society but even unintended consequences to the individuals that are receiving information which may include security of life.

“As citizens become more interested in governance, it is the government’s obligation to ensure that engagement with citizens springs with shared agreement on what the truth is, what is real and what is not,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nigerians on social media have criticised Gbajabiamila and his principal, saying social media regulation is the least of Nigeria’s problems.

The accused Gbajabiamila of attempting to clip the same wings that brought him to power and asked him to channel his focus on ending soaring inflation and the high rate of abductions in the nation.

“Femi Gbajabiamila seems to be tone deaf or just dancing to the tune of Baba Balablu. Inflation has reached its height figure in our history; hunger and starvation is (sic) everywhere, but the social media that millions of people use as an escape from the pure sadness that the APC government has caused is what they want to regulate again. Na thunder go fire all of una,” @BarcaPrincipal wrote on X Friday morning.

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“So now Femi wants to regulate the same social media the APC used as a tool to destroy Goodluck Jonathan?” @sports_Doctor2 queried. “And what exactly is the role of Femi Gbajabiamila? Is he aware he’s just the “Chief of Staff”, an appointed role? What’s with this “Imposter Syndrome? Social media must be regulated” my foot!!!”

Also, an X user, Comrade Abiyos Roni, wrote: “My message to Femi Gbajabiamila. Before regulating social media in Nigeria, I urge you to use the same energy to regulate poverty, unemployment, inflation, food security and foreign exchange.”

Another user, @UnlimitedEniola, wrote, “It was Desmond Elliot, now it’s Femi Gbajabiamila calling for social media regulation as if we are in Iran, Saudi Arabia or North Korea. Social media is not the problem but bad governance and poor leadership.”

Also criticising Mr Gbajabiamila’s call for social media regulation, @officialIkenna wrote, “SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM; he (Gbajabiamila) wants to clip the wings of the same social media that they used as a tool to get to where they are, face your work and leave social media. Stop misplacing your priorities. Do better.”

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@ChrisOkpokiri referred to Mr Gbajabiamila’s past in the U.S., where his law licence was revoked over corruption and ethical lapses that violated the rules of the American bar.

“What else do you expect from a criminal that escaped with clients money to Nigeria?” wrote user Okpokiri.

Rukky Nate on X upbraided the chief of staff for handling social media like an opposition party, asserting that he neglected pressing issues to favour social media regulation.

“The prices of this morning are no longer the prices of this evening. But Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Femi Gbajabiamila’s problem is how to gag and regulate social media — the only opposition party in Nigeria,” @Rukky_Nate wrote.

“Femi Gbajabiamila is more concerned with regulating social media. So social media is now the bandits? Or those kidnappers in the country? Sigh,” @ChiksEricE opined.

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