13th June, 2021
By Martha Agas
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has decried the use of social media to undermine Nigeria’s 22 year-old democracy.
The governor decried this at a dinner he organised to commemorate Nigeria’s Democracy Day on Saturday at the Government House, Jos.
He said some Nigerians were using social media to propagate their personal interests at the detriment of upholding the democratic values of Nigeria.
“It is expedient for me to draw attention to the worrying situation where a section of the conventional media and to a large extend the social media are becoming a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
“People who want to pursue their personal interests are using some sections of the media irresponsibility.
“They go about propagating falsehood, fake news, incitement and refusing to abide by professional code of ethics.
“Sometimes, when you follow what some people put in the social media, you wonder whether they believe in Nigeria,” Lalong said.
The governor said that Nigerians should be responsible, careful and guard the country’s democracy jealously.
He said that Nigeria would not disintegrate contrary to the negative narratives infiltrating the polity.
“Nigeria will not collapse or disintegrate. Let us not dwell on our ethnic, religious, political and ideological differences but embrace our diversity which is our greatest strength.
“When we stand together and promote justice, equity, fairness and tolerance to one another, there will be no limit to the greatness of Plateau State and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
Lalong said that the unity of Nigerians devoid of political, religious or ethnic affiliations, would help in overcoming poverty, insecurity, religious fanaticism, ethnic bigotry, intolerance, lawlessness, political rascality and corruption.
He said although leadership was critical to good governance, the electorate also has a pivotal role in effecting change, through selecting accountable and selfless leaders.
Lalong, however, said such leaders should not be burdened to attend to personal requests or interests at the detriment of public good, adding that individuals should not be made stronger than democratic institutions.
He said his administration was committed to empowering youths through its various intervention programmes with government and non-governmental agencies.
According to him, this will reduce youth vulnerability to crime.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Philomena Lot, Chairman, Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Other Related Extra Judicial Killings in Plateau, said N152 million was recommended as compensation for the families of petitioners.
In his presentation on an assessment of Lalong’s Administration, Prof. Andrew Zamani, Institute of Governance and Development, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, commended the governor for facilitating the rating of Plateau, as low risk in security mapping analysis in Nigeria.
He lauded Lalong’s commitment to peace building, security and good governance since the inception of his administration six years ago.
Zamani urged him to ensure inclusiveness in governance, especially in gender parity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that guests at the dinner included the Director-General of Industrial Training Fund, Mr. Joseph Ari.
Others were the Acting Director-General of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Brig.-Gen. Chukwuemeka Udaya and other top government officials.