Monday, April 22, 2024

Mfonobong Inyang: How’s Regulating Social Media In Nigeria The Best Decision?

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Past my literary cheekiness, the deliberate use of oxymoron is a gambit to spotlight how counter-intuitive a backdoor try and stifle social commentary in Nigeria via a proposed social media regulation sounds to the ears of right-thinking individuals. There aren’t any phrases to explain my contempt for the shortcoming of our political class to learn the room. The dearth of crucial pondering and situational consciousness is palpable. I’m not stunned; I’ve beforehand penned that “Some leaders are killing the youth demography of their international locations by insisting on stifling younger voices relatively than reasoning with them.”

In 2021, X (previously Twitter) was banned largely as a result of the group guidelines of the platform have been violated when a really offensive tweet that referenced a historic genocide was taken down. It was a no brainer; not solely did it embody language able to inciting violence, nevertheless it was additionally seen as a canine whistle which evoked disagreeable reminiscences. As an alternative of consuming the standard pie, what did the dramatis personae do? They did one essentially the most Nigerian issues ever; they performed the do-you-know-who-I-am card. They even tried to railroad the management of the micro-blogging firm into making drastic changes to its backend. It was wild to see how Twitter was used to announce that Twitter had been banned! It will have been innocent if it wasn’t a socio-economic tragedy; the ban value Nigerians a princely sum of $26 billion.

Quick ahead to February 2024, there’s chatter about how social media has change into a menace. This joke writes itself. In a rustic the place individuals are being kidnapped from their properties, out-of-school numbers are the best on the earth, terrorists have sacked a number of communities and brought over their ancestral lands, the Naira is the world’s third-worst performing currency towards the Greenback, inflation is at an all-time excessive, a bag of rice prices greater than twice the minimal wage, farmers can’t domesticate their farms due to the fixed assaults by bandits, an electrical energy provide is horrible, many multinationals have exited the home market and native companies have shut down, a bag of cement is north of N12,000 and folks can not afford primary meals or medical staples. You’ll suppose any of those points could be thought of a strategic precedence however no, regulating social media is the silver bullet that may magically resolve all our issues. What a genius transfer!

Is that this one of the best industrial for attracting overseas direct funding? I really like how our political class makes dumb selections after which turns round and feigns shock as to why traders aren’t falling over themselves for Nigeria as a viable financial system to place their sources into. Or worse, how they flip round and blame unusual Nigerians for “demarketing” the nation. Riddle me this, which shrewd C-Suite execs within the enterprise districts and industrial hubs of Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Kigali, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo et al are sitting of their nook workplaces and studying such hostile strategy to public discourse will say to themselves, “Nigeria is trying like one of the best factor since slice bread proper now, the socio-political surroundings bodes effectively for our company pursuits”. Your guess is pretty much as good as mine.

I’m not one to double down on whataboutism as a result of I do know that two wrongs don’t make a proper, nevertheless, it’s very disingenuous the best way those that weaponised social media to the plain political benefit in 2015 are embarking on lame makes an attempt at instructing revisionist historical past. Not too way back, a sitting president was known as names which can be too grotesque that I can’t even reprint right here, individuals have been mobilised for large rallies by way of social media, and a mock funeral procession was carried out with a few of your faves cheering them on – his mom was traumatised watching her son undergo all of that. A few of those that name themselves intellectuals right now made a fortune for themselves that yr by spewing poisonous, bile and abominable feedback on a gradual. Proof dey. At the moment, the house has been democratised and the grip on narrative-shaping has been misplaced. These requires regulating social media are merely a kitchen sink technique; when propaganda isn’t propaganding once more, there’s a excessive temptation to muzzle what you can’t spin.

A lot of our political class loves mouthing off on democracy however a cursory interrogation exhibits that they crave a monarchical system the place they lord it over us and we’re all topics incapable of questioning their actions or inactions. It’s attention-grabbing that even essentially the most refined monarchy on the earth, the British Monarchy, continues to be accountable to the general public by disclosing the health condition and treatment of King Charles III. Right here, one of the best you get is {that a} chief, holding a public workplace and funded by taxpayers, has gone on a nondescript “personal journey”. Our leaders need worship however they don’t need to put within the work. A few of us discover it very troublesome to be loyal to incompetence; if you wish to be the Huge Kahuna, you could present workings in any other case you go simply dey clarify.

In precept, Nigeria claims to mannequin our democracy after the US of America however in observe, nothing might be additional away from the reality. Within the Land of the Free and the House of the Courageous, the very First Modification vehemently protects free speech. It reads: “Congress shall make no regulation respecting an institution of faith, or prohibiting the free train thereof, or abridging the liberty of speech, or of the press; or the best of the individuals peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Authorities for a redress of grievances.” No, I’m not evaluating apples and oranges, I’m evaluating ideas with ideas.

I’ve stated many instances earlier than that for essentially the most half, Nigerians aren’t godly individuals; we’re simply non secular. That’s why you see some leaders of religion, who’re a part of the Nigerian political industrial complicated showcase their perfidy to the best heavens with reckless abandon. I’m not towards prayers or praying for one’s nation, I imagine it’s a patriotic factor to do. What I can be ceaselessly towards is the duplicity; how we’re informed to hope for Nigeria when their faves are in workplace however are anticipated to affix protests and maintain the toes of the chief to the fireplace when she or he isn’t “certainly one of us”. Isn’t it an eyesore what number of of your faves are on the market attempting to spiritualise apparent incompetence? How is insecurity a religious drawback however politicians are steadily gathering safety votes? You must learn my piece on Joseph; the broski didn’t pray when Pharaoh requested him for an answer, he informed the entire of Egypt a sequence of actions to take which might assure their socio-economic survival. Over right here, we delight in debauchery then flip round and name-drop God as a result of faith has been so weaponised that we’re anticipated to simply accept something with a sprinkle of the divine on it.

There was a time when Nigeria sneezed, and the remainder of Africa would catch a chilly. That clout is gone; you noticed how we threatened to invade Niger however as a substitute of folding, they stood on business and rightly determined as patriots that they relatively die on their toes than stay on their knees as a result of it might be a chilly day in hell earlier than they give up to colonial powers. We are able to’t even name out the BS in Senegal the place the web was minimize off owing to some inordinate political ambition as a result of the so-called Large of Africa can’t lead by instance. I’m but to see a “strongly-worded” assertion from ECOWAS, I hope it isn’t sustaining a studied silence – solely to talk up when somebody seems on tv with the notorious phrases, “Fellow Nigerians”.

Mates of Voltaire, an anecdotal biography by Evelyn Beatrice Corridor contained probably the most profound statements ever written: “I disapprove of what you say, however I’ll defend to the demise your proper to say it.” I might advise these behind this ill-informed proposition that the road no get pleasure, of us need all of the smoke and it would take an act of tomfoolery equivalent to this to set off a descent into the trail of perdition. This doesn’t precisely assist the futile hunt for legitimacy both as a result of such isn’t gotten from an electoral fee however from “we the individuals” – if e didn’t dey, e didn’t dey! Me I’m going discuss am as I see am, I no go use any sugar cowl am.

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