The Federal Government has described as false the information being circulated on the Social Media to the effect that under a purported Ministry of Interior Regulation, all phone calls and Social Media posts made by the citizens are to be monitored and recorded.
But security experts in Abuja, who do not wish to be named, say though the monitoring may not be warehoused in the Interior Ministry, it will be false to say government is not monitoring calls and the social media to fish out criminals who use these platforms to plan evil.
“It is done by every government in the world worth its salt to protect its citizens. On the same television station I heard the news, there was a report that seven men who kidnapped Olu Falae were sentenced to life imprisonment. One lawyer, after the judgment was delivered, said the men were caught because their phone lines were monitored. Also, on the same news Governor el Rufai of Kaduna released details of how he purchased equipment to monitor calls. Are these not contradictions?
“Persons of Interest (PoI) must be monitored to keep us safe so there is no need making a blanket denial. Believe that story from that Minister, you will believe anything. It is a necessary evil to monitor you, but it is equally politically correct to deny that it happens,” one expert said.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, by his spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the development as another example of disinformation that has permeated the media space, especially the Social Media.
The Minister said the intention of those behind the false news is to give the impression that the Federal Government is working to stifle freedom of speech, which is not the case.
”There is no regulation, old or new, from the Ministry of Interior or any federal government agency requiring the recording of all calls or the monitoring of Social Media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter or Facebook. We are therefore using this medium to inform all Nigerians that what is being circulated in this regard is totally false and should be disregarded.
”We thank all Nigerians who have reached out to us in an effort to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of this information, which is now being widely circulated on the Social Media. This is the best way to ensure that the purveyors of false news do not dominate our media space,” he said.