Kukah cautions FG on social media regulation

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah


The Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has cautioned the Federal Government against planned regulation of social media, saying it could hinder freedom of speech.

Speaking at the convocation lecture of Achievers University in Owo, Ondo State, titled, ‘Some reasons why Nigeria has failed to achieve greatness,’ Kuka said the freedom to speak must be done responsibly and asked government to be careful on the planned regulation of the social media.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he added that social media was an avenue for Nigerians to express their minds and feelings about happenings in the country, noting that most of the people at the corridor of power today were not aware of the struggle made for the country’s nascent democracy. Kukah said he was ready to defend freedom of speech in Nigeria with the last drop of his blood, adding: “I’m worried that many in power don’t know the sacrifice we made. The freedom we fought for.”

The cleric noted that a nation thrives on free flow of ideas and information among its citizenry, bemoaning that ethnicity and religion have become liabilities in Nigerian context.“We are over 90 percent Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, but there is nowhere in the world where religion has become an incubus, a burden and a source of dreadful violence as it has in Nigeria.

“Our leaders are kneeling before Pastors and Imams, seeking blessings, while the rest of the world is moving on, drawing inspiration from sweat, brains and brawn, even without evoking God.“We evoke God to witness to our corruption and outright larceny,” he said.

Kukah said the country was performing below expectations, as everybody could attest to, explaining that what held Nigeria together were resources, which he said were being used irresponsibly by those running the country.He stated: “The main challenge is not of the boundaries of geography, but the spread of ideas and knowledge, and of course, memory is a source of knowledge.

“We are angry, but we are not the first group to be angry.” He urged Nigerian leaders to invoke common emotions that could hold the citizens together as one, just as he encouraged the graduands of the university not to be locked in abyss of ethnicity and religion, but to liberate themselves and not to cut corners, because the road to success was long and hard.

Founder and Pro-Chancellor of the university, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, commended Kukah for the lecture, describing him as a national hero who should be celebrated Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, recently announced government’s plans to regulate the social media to combat falsehood.

Some of the dignitaries at the event were Senator Bode Olajumoke; Chancellor of the university, Prof. Tunji Ibiyemi; and Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, the Olowo of Owo.Four Nigerians- Kukah, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, and Mrs. Sola Momoh are slated for recognition by the university today as part of the convocation ceremony.

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