How Deji Adeyanju supported social media regulation

Indications have emerged that Leader of the Concerned Nigeria group supported social media regulation in the last dispensation.

Adejanju, who has been championing opposition against  the move by the President Muhammdu Buhari-led government to regulate the use of the social media in the country.

Reacting to the statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that the government would not go back on plans to regulate social media activities, Adeyanju said, “we reject the attempt to censor Social Media in Nigeria. This is a tyrannical Legislation.”

He went on to say, ‘We will mobilize Nigerians against the Anti Social Media Bill just reintroduced in the National Assembly. We killed it before & we must kill it once again. This is an assault on Freedom of Expression enshrined in Section 39 of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Anti Social Media Bill will affect everyone. It will take away our Freedom of Expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without government interference,” he said.

However, the controversial activist in a document dated July 7, 2014, obtained by our correspondent, had proposed the regulation of social media to the Department of State Security (DSS) raising concerns over “the dangerous trend of New Media (social media) in Nigeria especially Twitter.”

Adeyanju in the document titled: “Request For The DSS To Have An Official (Verified) Twitter Handle,” stated: “I written the as a concerned Nigerian who has been watching the dangerous trend of New Media (social media) in Nigeria especially Twitter.

“Nigeria over the years have never been this FREE before, so now social media pose a new THREAT not just to National Security but also our UNITY since there is no LAW regulating the space.

“It is just a FREE space where anyone carryout various campaigns like public incitement, treasonable felony, and even demoralising and maligning our security agencies.”

According to him, “These will be the benefits of having a Twitter account for the service: Since Twitter delivers Instant Messaging: Millions of Nigerians on the platform can give useful information to the DDD without fear. Everyone with a useful information can easily tweet at ybe DSS handles in seconds. The Twitter handle of the DSS will encourage Tweeps to Volunteer information either through a Tweet or Direct Message and assure them of confidentiality.

“Your presence will instantly bring sanity to the social media platform because everyone who has been reckless in information  sharing will become careful since there is now an invincible eye now on the platform reading all their tweets.

“You can also use this medium to gather data and information covertly. Your handle should also once in a while issue cautionary warning to any author/media house of inflammatory write-ups or agitations and those who compromise national security.”

The activists further stated: “This handle should also be used to enlighten the public on the activities, responsibilities and expectations of the DSS. This handle should keep Nigerians abreast with certain activities and motivate the nation with special focus on  the victories of the DSD as this will go a long way to inspire a Hope in all of us.”

Deju concluded by stating: “I plead with the service to come and sanitise the social media platform with their presence alone. I for one will become so scared the moment I discover that the DSS has started following me and will contemplate two actions immediately I notice this which will be either to deactivate my account or delete all incriminating Tweets.

“The service does not need to say anything in Twitter, your presence alone on the platform is scary. There is also a need to have a similar “verified” Facebook account. I am obliged.”