President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday urged fellow African nations and United Nations member states to uphold free speech.
This was as he called for the protection of vulnerable communities against misinformation which, he said, had driven most of the armed conflicts in Africa and around the world.
Buhari made these comments during his last address as President of Nigeria at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, holding in New York, USA.
Citing the enormous advantages of social media in the country’s efforts towards Climate Change adaptation, the President lamented that it is a “more corrosive form” of disseminating information which has been weaponised by some sinister elements in the past.
“We must defend freedom of speech while upholding values that we cherish. Efforts to protect communities from misinformation must be intensified to reduce inequality and stem conflict drivers,” Buhari said.
The President’s comment comes in the shadows of his regime’s seven-month ban on Twitter last year after it deleted a provocative tweet violating the platform’s rules.