The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has called on the Nigerian youths to employ the internet and social media to promote peace, unity, and national cohesion.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had yesterday announced that he had directed a conditional lifting of the ban placed on the operations of Twitter, in Nigeria.
The council said it is vital to use the platform credibly instead of using it to stoke the embers of division, whether along tribal, regional, or religious lines.
The president, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Amb. Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo who disclosed this at National ICT and Social Media Summit held in Abuja said the phenomenon of fake news which is rampant around the world can have a devastating effect on national cohesion, by stoking fear, reprisal, and violence.
He said It has cost the society untold sums in terms of economic asset destruction and sabotage, which is the intention of the content originators.
Represented by vice-president North Central NYCN, Comr. Akoshile Muhktar, said “National Integration is the bringing together the different groups that comprise the entity called Nigeria around consensus issues, to achieve a common goal of development. It is finding the glue that holds our diverse peoples together in defining our role as citizens and making unified standard demands of the government.
“Whereas social media provides opportunities for dissemination of information to vast audiences in record time, it is incapable of distinguishing between true and positive information and the false and negative ones.”
Speaking further, he said in the current wave of social technologies, we live on the internet and get off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, tik tok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and the likes to look for the content we can share on these platforms.
He continued: “This seemingly harmless pastime among our young and active populace has enabled a potent monster in our society, the menace of fake news, with potentially devastating consequences if unchecked.”
Also speaking during the occasion, the minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Hajia Aminu Daura, said the organization of the summit is timely at a period the country is grappling with pervasive security challenges and shows the patriotic commitment of the NYCN.
According to the minister, social media has no doubt become central to social life around the globe, including Nigeria with the majority of active users being the youths.
He said the internet opens up a lot of opportunities and possibilities for the youths and that they must be encouraged to maximize the opportunities.
He said, “Social Media offers both the negative and positive sides. We have seen deviants use of social media to perpetrate their acts.
“The federal government will promote the use of social media to promote positive engagements and national cohesion.”