By Ayobami Agboola, Ilorin
The National Coordinator of Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation (AGF), Comrade Ishola Olateju says the growth and development offered by the internet space is tempered by the threats it also poses to national security.
Olateju stated this on Saturday at a round table discussion, organized to celebrate his 40th birthday, held at Kwara Hotel, Ilorin, Kwara State capital.
The founder of Ishola Olateju Foundation expressed worry that the internet and social media platforms have been used to spread fake news, propagate hate speech, and seditious and treasonable messages.
Speaking on the topic: “Effect Of Social Media On Internal Security, A Case Study Of #Endsars, Herdsmen, Cyber-crime And Ritual Killings”, Olateju urged social media users to always verify their news urging them to use social media to promote national unity, not to tear the fabrics of unity.
He bemoaned how social media was used to incite and escalate violence in the country during last year’s historic #EndSARS protest.
“The topic under discussion, is a trending issue across Nigeria, which we must consider as a threat to our existence as a united country. Without labour for so long, the speakers have done justice to the issues and I believe we all benefited from their presentations.
“Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, once said of Media, “There is increasing death of professionalism in the media. The fall in the standard of education, the enveloping cloud of moral turpitude, the erosion of media ethics and the combination of the other factors have conspired to wipe off professionalism in the media”.
“While the evolution of social media is commendable, the quality and the genuineness of the news must be of a high standard. We must stay away from fake news in order not to jeopardize the internal security of our country.
“Without any iota of doubt, the security of Nigeria is been threatening because of fake news and growing suspicion among all the ethnics groups in the country.
“Let me emphasize that, no country grow without the security of life and properties of its citizens, let me also quote my mentor on what he said about security, ” No meaningful economic and industrial activity can thrive in an atmosphere riddled with rancor and crisis. Central to peace, in turn, is the positive productive engagement of the active working population in any society “. Ogbeni continued, “But more importantly, we must keep the peace, promote national unity and cooperation, shun division and conflict generating behaviors and practices”.
“In the light of this, I will urge us all, particularly, youth, not to tear the fabrics of our unity as a country with the wrong usage of social media. Verify your news and use social media to promote national unity.”
Speaking on the objectives of the Olateju Ishola Foundation, the AGF National Coordinator said that the Foundation was established in honour of his late father, to assist the less privilege in Kwara state and Nigeria at large.
He said that the foundation since its establishment, has trained, hundreds of students on how to be self-sufficient without waiting for a job that’s not available,
He noted that the foundation is determined to take youths out of poverty through empowerments just as he promised to to always make himself available for service of humanity.
The celebrant used the occasion to appreciate the Minister of Interior and his wife, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Alhaja Sherifat for what they have done in his life praying God to reward them abundantly.
He however appreciated the discussants for a job well done, prayed Allah to continue to enrich their wisdom.
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