The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said he doesn’t know if calls are being monitored as concerns grow over whether the government is actually monitoring the activities of Nigerians on social media.
I am not aware of that,” Garba Shehu said when asked on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He, however, shared the government’s concern about the misuse of the internet.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in his national broadcast on Monday last week said some of the comments and discussions on the social media while he was away on medical vacation were distressing.
The following day, the Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche, said the activities of Nigerians on the social media were being monitored for anti-government, anti-military and anti-security.
This had sparked outrage among Nigerians on social media and beyond.
Although Shehu is “not aware” of the monitoring of calls, he is quick to point out that the onternet now feeds extremism.
I know that this country, in fact, the whole world has a big problem with balancing free speech and what we call in this country hate speech.
It has many faces depending on which country you are dealing with. In most of these European countries, (and) America, they are dealing with Islamic terror. In America, white extremism and all of that. All of it fed substantially by the internet.
Consequently, he does not believe it should be a big deal if there is some form of monitoring going on.
I believe that people can be justified. A lot of countries are taking notes. If Nigeria does it, I don’t know. I’m not in a position to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. But if it happens in this country, it is not extraordinary, it is not unusual. Everybody is interested. Look, this thing about international terrorism is big and nobody is leaving it to chances.
The presidential aide said he has no problem with the military monitoring the social media as long as it is part of their “national security duties”.topics from