The Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Kudalor, yesterday reiterated his position on the ban on the use of social media in the upcoming general elections.
He defended his position to ban social media because, as he puts it, some sections of the public abusively use social media to create fear and panic by sharing false information.
The false information, he maintained, often stirred up controversy among the citizenry.
The IGP, therefore, insisted that he would consider to ban social media in order to prevent trouble makers from misusing it.
This is the second time that the IGP has touched this vexed issue that has received sharp criticism from a section of the public.
The Times sympathises with the IGP in his effort at managing public anxiety and maintain peace before, during and after the election.
We are mindful of the arduous task confronting the IGP and the security forces, but we humbly disagree with the IGP that a ban on social media would prevent trouble.
We are of the view that placing a ban on social media is the easiest way out of a perceived problem.
Today, there are a thousand and one ways that members of the public can get in touch with each other.
The countless ways of getting in touch with each other defeats the argument the IGP puts forward as the reason for considering the ban.
Besides, the versatility of the media has made social media a tool for media practice.
Many of the correspondence would be relying on the social media to do their work and a ban would affect their operations.
We also know that social media has become a social good for many other professions; doctors, nurses, engineers and many others that a ban for an hour can be catastrophic.
It is inappropriate to look at only one side of the issue and take a position that is not in the interest of the public at large.
Mr. IGP, we sympathise with your concerns, but we believe that there are several ways to cure the mischief you foresee.
Just listen to the remedies that the IT professionals are prescribing, and we would overcome.