The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has urged governments at all levels to redouble efforts at ensuring good governance rather than focusing on social media control.
Mike Umoh, the secretariat’s Social Communications Director, made the call in an interaction with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Umoh said that the social media is a revolution and phenomenon that will be difficult to stop easily.
”When you talk about revolutions in history, it is unstoppable; the best thing is if that revolution is calling you to order and question, check yourself, work within it and regulate for the good of all.
”Even in advanced democracy, media is generally regulated because by its very nature, it is a currency, and a currency can easily be abused or rightly used but the media is a currency with a positive value.
”Social media is a revolution and a phenomenon, it is a revolution that is bigger than any government and a phenomenon that will outlive any government.
“Instead of trying to clamp down, governments should concentrate on formation and try to be sincere.
”Those in charge of regulating needs to be very careful and avoid the clampdown to silence people because you cannot regulate what you are not in control of, you can only regulate within a space but you cannot stop the internet,” he said.
Mr Umoh also said that government’s withdrawal of policemen from prominent Nigerians was for people to be careful the way they used the power given to them by the people.
The social communication expert noted that the #EndSARS protest was not political, tribal or religious movement.
”It is the youths who have seen their parents oppressed for too long; it is the youths who do not seem to find hope, it all came spontaneously. But while you may try to crush EndSARS physically, the spirit of EndSARS cannot be crushed.
”EndSARS is a spirit, it is a revolution, it is a fire, cover it, you will only make it to burn more. So the easiest way to respond to EndSARS, is for the governments to listen to issues raised by the protesters.”Because the issues raised can never be waved away.You can only supress it for sometime, but it will find its voice stronger and better.
”EndSARS has come to stay physically, spiritually and as a movement and the earlier we realize that, the better for us,” he said.
The secretariat’s Secretary General, Zacharia Samjumi, called for caution, justice and peaceful resolutions of the challenges that prompted the youth to the streets.
There have been calls in some government quarters in recent times that the social media should be regulated, a move Nigerians have continued to criticise, saying it is an attempt to gag free speech and prevent them from talking about issues of governance they care about.