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Insecurity: Regulate internet access to misguided information – cleric to FG

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An Islamic scholar and judge of the Shari’ah Court of Appeal, Kwara state, Abdur Raheem Ahmad Sayi, has called on the federal government to devise a technology to regulate access to deluge of misguided information on the internet, that are capable of fuelling security and religious crisis in the country.

Sayi, who observed that the unfettered access by Nigerians, especially the youth, to the loads of what he called misinformation, in the cyber space, has contributed immensely to the present security challenges in the country and warned that failure by the government to do the needful might spell doom for the unity of Nigeria.

He made the call in his lecture at the 2012 Special Ramadan Iftar programme, organised by the Ogun state government at the Arcade Ground of the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, with the theme “Threats to National Security and Unity: Religion as a Panacea or Problem.”

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The cleric said that the internet could be educative, entertaining and informative, but promoters of hate and disunity in the country had used it to spread messages of discord and fake news among Nigerians, saying that government must find ways to curb the menace before it is too late.

He noted that the country is atop a keg of gunpowder, if no efforts are made to check the social malaise, saying “what Nigeria is currently witnessing in terms of insecurity will be a negligible fraction of chaos that will come.

The judge, however, urged leaders of Islam and Christianity in the country to desist from preaching about prosperity alone, but inculcate the core values, tenets and teachings of love and unity of mankind, in the minds of their adherents.

He further charged the religious leaders to use religion as instrument to foster unity and oneness, rather than to promote discrimination, hate and disharmony.

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Sayi, therefore, urged media practitioners in the country to continue to play the pivotal role in reversing the trend of insecurity by imbibing and practising responsible journalism which, according to him, will go a long way in preserving societal peace and unity of Nigeria.

In his address, the state governor, Senator Dapo Abiodun, said the special Ramadan Iftar programme was a symbolic one being the very first to be hosted by his administration, after COVID-19 pandemic prevented the state to organise it last year.

He noted that the programme was in appreciation of the fervent prayers, solidarity and support his government enjoyed from the Muslim community in the last two years.

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While describing the theme of the Iftar programme as apt and instructive, especially when considering recent challenges to security and unity, not only in Nigeria, but around the world in general, Abiodun urged the people, irrespective of their religious persuasion, to always engage only in acts that promote security, peace and unity of Nigeria.

He said “neither of the two major religions in the country supports banditry, insurgency, kidnapping or rebellion against the state.”

“The leaders and followers, government and people, have the responsibility towards the security and unity of our nation. Otherwise, our actions and inactions, without responsibility towards one another, become threats to national security and unity,” he added.

Segun Ayinde, Abeokuta

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