Governors and monarchs in the South-West region, on Sunday, called on the Federal Government to ensure the regulation of the social media.
The governors, traditional rulers, and a Presidential delegation met in Lagos yesterday. The leaders lamented the negative effect of fake news peddled on social media during the recent #EndSARS protests and the violence that followed.
The communique issued partly read, “We recognise the damaging and negative impact of fake/false news and worry about its destructive and dangerous potency of fake news. We call on the federal government to use the instrumentality of existing laws and those regulations bench-marked from other countries to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news.”
The leaders also urged the Federal Government to resolve the deadlock between itself and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to allow students return to the classroom.
Those at the meeting are Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, and ministers from the region also attended the meeting.
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, amongst others, were also present at the meeting.
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, said the country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder if the issue of fake news is not urgently addressed, insisting on the regulation of social media in the country.
The move, which was earlier supported by northern governors, has, however, been condemned by civil society organizations who described it as a violation of the right to free speech.