Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Corruption allegations against Gbajabiamila baseless- Speaker as CoS calls for social media regulation

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, has called on security agencies to diligently investigate allegations leveled against the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The speaker gave the charge on Thursday while addressing a press conference on the state of the nation.

Gbajabiamila has been at the centre of allegations of graft involving suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

Addressing the citizens, Abbas urged Nigerians to desist from fake news but welcomed constructive criticism to make government officials more accountable.

He, however, pointed out that the allegations against Gbajabiamila are capable of undermining the nation’s democracy.

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He said, “There has been a rise in defamation campaigns on social media involving the deliberate dissemination of false and misleading information with the intent to harm the reputation of individuals or organisations. These campaigns often target political opponents, seeking to undermine their credibility, integrity, and public trust.

“The recent unjustified and baseless allegations against the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, point to the danger of an unfettered and unaccountable social media. Such acts not only undermine the integrity of our democracy but also erode the fabric of our national unity. Yet, Femi is just one of millions of Nigerians who suffer cyberbullying and coordinated campaigns of defamation daily. Too many victims are not as powerful as him to defend themselves.

“Those of us who have worked with him for over a decade can attest to his patriotism and integrity. His willingness to voluntarily subject himself to investigation by all security and law enforcement agencies demonstrates his rectitude and honour.

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“I urge the security agencies to work diligently and swiftly to investigate all matters he has raised in his letter to them and inform Nigerians of their findings. If not found guilty, these agencies must fish out those responsible for the character assassination and ensure they are brought before the law.

“It is most unfortunate that someone who has, over the years, built a reputation through hard work and commitment to service, should be damaged by unscrupulous elements. The consistent attempt to pull him down for purely political or personal reasons and without consequence is deeply deplorable.”

Meanwhile, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated.

Gbajabiamila said this while representing Tinubu at the public presentation  of a book, “Nigerian Public Discourse: The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole” written by the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in Lagos

This is according to a Thursday statement by Tunde Alao, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Media), Office of the Lagos State Deputy Governor.

“The social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated. As many people do not understand that once the send button is hit, there is a potential to reach millions of people around the world which is capable of causing great danger not just in society but even unintended consequences to the individuals that are receiving information that may include security of life,” the statement quoted Gbajabiamila as saying.

Governor Sanwo-Olu was also represented at the event by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.

The statement noted that Tinubu maintained that his administration had an obligation to engage in evidence-based discussion and data-reliant decision-making, hence, the need for accurate data that would be used for better policy formulation and execution.

“As citizens become more interested in governance, it is the government’s obligation to ensure that engagement with citizens springs with shared agreement on what the truth is, what is real and what is not,” Gbajabiamila said.

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The president commended the author for putting in book form his thoughts and experience garnered both as a governor and member of the federal executive council.

Speaking at the event, Hamzat noted that accurate data would help in finding lasting solutions to myriads of challenges facing the nation adding that “for a developing country like us, part of the problem we have is that we don’t have data, which is very crucial for policy formulation for national development.”

While stressing the importance of data, he noted that “deterministic data is essential even in our daily lives, even on issues such as building – buildings require correct data to know the threats.”

In his remarks, the book author, Fashola, disclosed that the book was written based on his 21 years of experience as a public office holder, highlighting different public issues.

“My joy is that the conversation has just started, and by and large, we will get good and positive results in our quests for national development”, Fashola was quoted as saying.

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In October 2023, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project urged the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, “to reject the recently reintroduced social media regulation bill.”

SERAP noted that the passage of the bill “would unduly restrict the rights to freedom of expression and privacy,” and urged Tinubu’s administration to stop its efforts to compel technological firms like Google and YouTube to restrict such “fundamental human rights.”


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