Don’t be taken aback if the federal government announces a repeat shutdown of some key social media platforms, soon.
Feelers from among top government agents have leaked that “If the new media space doesn’t favour the governing party’s campaign edge as it fears it wouldn’t, then expect restrictions and even possible toying with the GSM services to cut down on the advantages of the opponents.”
The source said it gathered this information from top APC strategy team on how best they will win the election next year.
“The APC which operates the federal government would most likely deploy very unconventional and stringent means through policies to manacle opposition supporters.
Don’t say you were not told.
“So, you Nigerians that rely on the new media and your phones for the campaign and political awareness, start thinking of alternatives,” the source revealed.
It further noted that “Nigerians don’t need to be reminded that this administration is not like the President Goodluck Jonathan’s government that tolerated the opposition and diverse views and even willingly handed over to the opposition party even when its victory would have been contested.
“Ultimately, an unconventional political war is most likely on the card, taking advantage of the levers of power in the hands of the APC to use policy handcuffs on Nigerians in order to cut down the competitive advantage of other candidates deemed to have upper hand in the new media.”
Our source advised that Nigerians yearning for true political leadership change should start working out alternatives to the GSM, social media and other internet-based communication channels.
It advised that complaining to the global bodies that regulate these media channels early enough would also do some good.
“It would pay all of us to find a way around this policy war that targets at cutting down the reach of the common people in propagating their political sermon which doesn’t favour the party in power.”
About 94% of politically-informed Nigerians own phones and rely on their smartphones to access information about developments and issues in the polity.
“Already, the Nigerian government has never been comfortable with the social and new internet-based media where so much awareness swirl and cut down on their intentions to lord it over Nigerians with minimal resistance.
“Since after the October 2020 #ENDSARS protests, the FG has been barely, reluctantly and grudgingly condoning the social media,” our source revealed, explaining further that “it was external pressure that forced it to lift the Twitter ban and not go ahead with a planned ban of all social media platforms.
“APC is jittery because the party knows it was the social media that gave it advantage in the 2014/2015 era.
“So they are quite afraid that the trend which is far more prominent today may work in favour of the opposition. We should prepare for the worst policy moves from them, anytime soon,” our source coached.