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Social Media And Its Effects On The Nigeria Political System

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Nigeria

A Nigeria where there is freedom of expression, where people can see your aired views without knowing you are the person behind the write-ups.

Nigeria

This is the kind of world we hope to live in. A world where the views of the majority can suppress your view and force you to align with their own. A place where you would get bashed if your mentality seemed evil and a place for secret admirers to drool without fear of being caught. The social media has destroyed reputations, but has also helped to rebuild, connect people together and give solutions to problems.

Social media has greatly influenced the public running of Nigeria as a nation in all aspects, especially the entertainment industry and the political system. It is the fastest means of spreading information across a particular country and beyond, no matter how shrewd. Recently, the minister of information, Lai Mohammed called for the regulation of social media, after the alleged misinformation leading the violence following the #endsars protest.

Nigeria

He has been calling for the regulation of social media since 2019, following the rumor that went around at that time, saying that the President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari was dead and that the man sitting on the presidential seat, posing as our President is Buhari’s lookalike, Jubril. It was believable at that time because our president was very sick.

People started spreading the rumor far and wide and cajoling their family members and friends who couldn’t access the internet that there was a conspiracy going on in the upper chambers of the Nigerian government. There was nothing the government could say or do at that time to curb the rumor, as many Nigerians held unto it. Generational political lies poured fuel into the fire. Of course, we have never known the Nigerian government to say something or promise something and do as they have said. All they do is to make campaign promises that would get them there to embezzle our money.

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Since Democracy in Nigerian political system came to stay in 1999, faith in Nigerian leaders has reduced greatly, with the recent government getting the most resentment. All of our anger and disappointment bottled up from former president Obasanjo’s government till date have been vented on this present government. All we see is that we have given them another opportunity to embezzle. With all the dramas that have accompanied Buhari’s government, they have made it easy for us to believe that the Nigerian political system is a hopeless thrive.

We have heard strange and funny stories, stories that have made the citizens of Nigeria look stupid for electing Buhari’s government. An example is the story of the snake that ate some amount of money in the highest government chamber, Aso rock. We also heard of the monkey that was found in Aso rock. Very funny and lame right? The government has termed social media as a medium to promote hate speech and negative scrutiny of the government. To be sincere, I don’t blame the Nigerian youths for the promotion of hate speech via social media. I mean, that’s the least we can do for being displayed as stupid and it’s the place where they can’t kill us for criticism.

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The call for the regulation of social media has provoked many reactions from the Nigerian citizens, especially negative ones. We have already lost faith in them, so, we think they are just using that to be able to cover up evil in the Nigerian political system. The call for this regulation became stronger when the live video recorded by Dj Switch on the killings of peaceful protesters by military men in Lekki went global.

There were many theories, cooked up stories and misinformations after that video, as the government claimed that the live video was photoshopped and that nobody died on Tuesday, 20th of October, 2021. There was another leak that said that the Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-olu sent those military men to shoot the protesters which he blatantly denied. Later on, the military came out to say that they did not give any order to shoot peaceful protesters.

There were misinformations everywhere as the government kept claiming that the live video was photoshopped. I keep asking myself till this day, could Dj Switch have had access to the technology that can Photoshop a live video? I don’t think so. How can a live video be photoshopped at the protest ground? The fact still remains that someone that had the powers of the law sent those military men to shoot mercilessly at the protesters. Someone that thought he could kill and get away with it, someone that was greatly disturbed by the protest.

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Who sent those men? The government has come to clarify some of the things that happened that day. Thinks like the infrared camera that was mistaken for CCTV cameras and the intention of the units that were in control of the lights in Lekki-Toll gate that day. Investigators have also claimed that the bullets they found that day were rubber bullets that were not intended to cause harm.

The fact still remains that some persons died, due to the merciless shooting at peaceful protesters in Lekki-Toll gate because they found blood and some families have cried out. It’s left for the government to deliver justice.

Their souls cannot perish in vain. Former actor and now member of the Lagos state house of representatives, Desmond Elliott has also come under fire for backing the call for regulation of social media, as the Nigerian youths are prepared to dig up his dirt and destroy his reputation.

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