The National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major General Babagana Monguno, believes the #EndSARS protesters used social media as a means to escalate tensions in the country, with the spread of subversive content.
He stated this on Wednesday at a workshop on the review of the Draft National Cybersecurity Strategy 2020 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Monguno, who was represented at the event by Mr Aliyu Mohammed, the Permanent Secretary (Special Services) at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, claimed that the protests were of noble intentions but ended up using social media platforms to disseminate seditious comments.
“We are witnesses to the use of social media to disseminate subversive content to incite violence and heightened tension, causing unrest and sparking widespread looting and destruction across the country,” he said.
The NSA was, however, quick to note that cyberspace showed numerous potentials and the Federal Government intended to harness and progressively use the digital revolution to its maximum.
He added, “Our country is currently at a turning point in its history; a significant section of our population of over 200 million people are young and entrepreneurs.
“We are also witnessing a rapid rise in our adoption of the internet in our daily lives.”
Also present at the workshop was the ICT Director at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Idowu Afe, who stated that the draft would be of immense advantage to the Nigerian digital sphere.
“The committee is hoping to complete work on the document over the next few days and pass the draft document to the President for his approval.
“The document is expected to contribute to the growth of the nation’s digital technology,” Afe told the audience at the event.
The Senate introduced the Anti-Social Media Bill in November 2019 to mitigate the use of social media in spreading false information.
But the bill faced opposition from human rights activists and Nigerians who condemned it, insisting that it was a means for the government to gag freedom of speech.