The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, yesterday cautioned the federal government against plans to regulate the social media, saying it could undermine the freedom of Nigerians.
Kuka, who stated this while delivering the convocation lecture of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State, insisted that freedom of expression, part of which the social media represents, “is fundamental in a democracy.”
The bishop, who spoke on “Some Reasons Why Nigeria Has Failed to Achieve Greatness”, noted that every nation thrives on free flow of ideas and information, contending that “if anyone plans to undermine the freedom of the common people in the country, he’s ready to join others in defending the freedom with the last drop of their blood.”
He continued: “A good number of people in power today don’t even know the sacrifices we paid to get this freedom and democracy.
“We should be very careful in creating rules against social media. Freedom to speak is freedom to speak responsibly. We fought for this freedom and we will defend it with the last drop of our blood. A nation thrives on free flow of ideas and information.”
The Bishop, who was one of the recipients of the university’s awards, urged Nigerians to separate religion and ethnicity from politics to prevent politicians from using them to achieve their parochial ambitions to the detriment of the nation’s development.
Kukah noted that most of Nigeria’s former Heads of State occupied the positions irrespective of their tribes, religion and whether they were elected or came into power through military coups.
Highlighting some of the circumstances that brought past leaders into positions, Kukah noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was called to contest in 2015 even when he had decided not to run again.
He observed that the idea of enthroning unwilling presidents was a bane of the nation’s development.