Nigeria's First Lady Calls for Heightened Control of Social Media in the Country
Nigerians are outraged after Aisha Buhari said that the country should adopt China's strict methods of regulating social media.
Nigeria's First Lady Aisha Buhari has come under fire after she said that Nigeria should enforce stricter social media regulations in the same that China does. Her comments come at a time when the Nigerian government is still deliberating on the passing of the controversial "Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill" which many Nigerians believe will be used to silence them.
According to the BBC, Buhari was speaking at the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs General Assembly and National Executive Council Meeting this past weekend."If China can control over 1.3 billion people on social media, I see no reason why Nigeria cannot attempt controlling only 180 million people," Buhari said confidently. She also added that, "We should either fasten our seat belt, get up and do the needful or we will all regret it very soon."
Since last month, Nigerians have been protesting against the proposed bill under #SayNoToSocialMediaBill on social media. The bill was initially proposed by Senator Muhammadu Sani Musa of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who cited that it would protect the country against the dissemination of hate speech and extremist ideologies online, as had been the case with terrorist groups including Boko Haram. Musa said that, "Individuals and groups influenced by ideologies and deep-seated prejudices in different countries are using internet falsehood to surreptitiously promote their causes, as we have seen in Nigeria with the insurgency of Boko Haram."
Many Nigerians on social media were quick to tell Buhari that if she wanted to compare Nigeria to China in terms of social media regulation, she should also extend her comparisons to broader politics including corruption, human rights violations and unemployment in the country.