The Plateau state Governor in North central Nigeria, Simon Lalong, has reiterated his Administration’s determination to empower youths in the state.
The Governor made this known while speaking at the 2020 batch B pre-orientation workshop for National Youth Service Corps NYSC members in Jos the Plateau State capital.
He said his administration recognised the importance of the youth as a veritable tool for nation-building and that their expertise would always be welcomed.
Lalong while speaking on the abuse of Social media, said the country was confronted with the negative use of the social media for the transmission of fake news, hate speech and incitement adding that it was very evident even in these recent events in the country where Government and its officials, as well as other innocent persons, were maligned, falsely castigated and even put in danger or attacked.
“This again reminds us of the need to do something to ensure responsible use of the social media space for development and accountability. No one can suppress freedom of speech and expression in a democracy. At the same time, no one should also be allowed to suffer or be endangered through the abuse of such freedom by the irresponsible use of social media by others,“ the Governor explained.
He also stated that only recently it was suggested at the Northern Governors Forum meeting held in Kaduna that the time had come for some mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that those who misuse the social media or put the lives of others in danger are held accountable.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this position does not intend to gag, muzzle or suppress freedom of speech and expression of Nigerians as it is being misinterpreted in some quarters “. We are only advocating for responsibility and accountability as any of us can be a victim of fake news, hate speech and incitement,“ he said.
He added that while his administration acknowledges the many challenges that youths face daily due to lack of opportunities for jobs as well as better conditions to achieve their dreams, they cannot excuse the adoption of violence and destruction as a solution. “We must put our heads together to ensure that jobs are created and our youths are supported to stand on their own.”
Speaking on the choice of the theme, Governor Lalong said “The choice of the theme for this workshop which is: Evolving a Dynamic Operational Strategy in Management of Camps in the Context of Covid-19, is very timely and clearly highlights the efforts of the NYSC in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He condemned the recent mass looting and burning down of private and public properties in Plateau State, urging all citizens of the state to rise and work hard to prevent the ugly experience from occurring again.
“We are all aware of the events that recently transpired across the country which started with the ENDSARS protests that began peacefully, until they were hijacked by criminals and hoodlums who went on rampage, looting and destroying public and private infrastructure.”
Lalong also expressed his sympathies to the Director-General, Management and staff of the NYSC as well as all corps members over recent attacks and looting of the Corp’s facilities by hoodlums and criminals. “What happened was indeed callous, condemnable and regrettable,“
“Like I have said at several fora, we remain highly supportive of the EndSARS agitation which ultimately seeks a reform of the Policing Architecture that will guarantee safety of lives and properties and enable our policemen to be motivated to serve professionally and within the law.
“We have already began engagement with our youths to ensure that we are on the same page and work in synergy to avoid the ugly experiences of recent past which have left us counting huge losses.
“Let me therefore use this opportunity to commend the Management of the NYSC for its active support to Government in the fight against the pandemic,” he added.
Source: Voice of Nigeria