Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong has debunked reports in some sections of Media that he and his colleagues were against the disbandment of SARS, stating that the governors were against criminalizing the entire police which according to him had noble and morally upright officers.
He disclosed the position of his colleagues in supporting community policing , proper funding for the force , training and retraining of personnel for efficiency , adding that panacea to having a police that would be a pride to all should start from a comprehensive reform of the police architecture to humanly and effectively protect lives and property of citizens.
He cautioned that condemning the entire police personnel would erode confidence and lower morals and zeal of hardworking and honest ones who he said had put their lives on lines so Nigerians would sleep with their two eyes closed.
While clarifying the position of northern Governors on censorship of social media , Governor Lalong said they were not against right of Nigerians to freedom of speech as enshrined in the constitution.
He however , advocated that some mechanisms be put in place to ensure that social media was not misused to spread fake news which according to him could put lives of Nigerians in danger and jeopardy , adding that culprits be held accountable for their action of disturbing public peace through unverified story on social media.
” Even though this has been taken out of context by many for reasons known to them , the reality is that we’re also confronted with the negative use of the social media for transmission of fake news , hate speech and incitement.
” This was very evident even in these recent events , innocent persons were maligned , falsely castigated and even put in danger or attacked.
” This again reminds us to do something to ensure responsible use of social media space for development and accountability.
” No one can suppress freedom of speech and expression in a democracy , likewise no one should be allowed to suffer or be endangered through the abuse of such freedom by irresponsible use of social media.
” For the avoidance of doubt , our position does not intend to gag , muzzle or suppress freedom of speech and expression of Nigerians.
” We are only advocating for responsibility and accountability as any of us can be victims of fake news , hate speech and incitement.
” Freedom of speech does not equal as we all know irresponsibility. ” Governor Lalong said.