By Efa Sunday
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to propagate rules that will seek to review and regulate the activities of social media within the state and across the country at large.
He made this call while speaking recently at the 2019 national summit of the Commission that held in Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, themed ‘Broadcasting and Democracy: Emerging Security Imperatives.’
The Governor sharing his pains stated that the “disheartening effects” experienced as a result of social media publications in the State, such as “inciteful publications reeled out by social media platforms, if not checked, can cause public unrest, and lead to citizens bearing arms against their leaders.”
His words, “Issues of audio, video and any other form of telecommunication that exposes sensitive security issues, that exposes extreme falsehood and create disaffection of the public against a government, in creating ethnic tension is totally unacceptable. The political crisis and social tension that characterizes Nigeria in the last one year is far more occasioned by the failure of broadcasting. I have people that I know in person and character like President Muhammadu Buhari who is a major false representation to the society by the social media. So if we don’t regulate it, if we don’t control it, if the society doesn’t have a poise, we would have had more cataclysm before us.”
Though, the governor did not mention any particular social media platform in the state, however, more evidence point to the lingering banter between (Ayade) and the State Chairman of Africa Action Congress (AAC) and Publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Comrade Agba Jalingo, who has been at logger heads with the governor.
Mr. Ayade in what he termed economic sabotage, further explained, “I went for an investment drive, as I sat down in a deep negotiation, somebody pulled out a lot of print outs from the state, and said but you are asking us to come to Cross River State to invest, here is what I am reading, extreme falsehood. It is economic sabotage and economic fraud. You’ll be shocked that a transaction I was about to put a financial close to was stopped on the basis of social media publication in Nigeria.”
While concluding, the former Senator averred that contrary to rumors of RUGA settlement in the five Northern Local Government Areas of Cross River that the one million hectares of lands are for “Agro-Industrial Revolution.”
Meanwhile, representatives of NBC Chairman, Mallam Dan’ladi Kabo, cautioned media practitioners on contents aired for public consumption, remarking that the media is powerful.
He also mentioned that beyond educating, entertaining and informing functions of the press, practitioners and owners alike should “properly mobilize citizens towards the direction the country wants to go and always bear in mind that people are listening to you.”
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