Governor Rochas Okorocha Owelle of Imo State said he is not comfortable about what the new media is doing even as he said anarchies now masquerade as democrats, a�?activism is not rascalitya�?, he cried out.
The governor who was represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri, Friday at the ongoing Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigerian (OMPAN), National Convention holding at the Imo Trade and Investment Centre, Owerri, said a�?when you own an online platform, it is not for you to cyber stock people and do all those kind of blackmailing things to get money out from people. The damage you can do is enormousa�?, insisting that the National body should take its members on legal execution.
He maintained that the execution should bother on the working of the cybercrime Act 2015, a�?because there is a law that regulates what you do, what you must not publish and how you must not publish, because if you are not prepared to play by the rules, you cannot exist in a civilized communitya�?.
According to him, a�?freedom after speech is the real freedom of speech. For any freedom you have to pay somethinga�?, pointing out that a good number of online media practitioners now pay prizes for some unfounded publications.
In his words: a�?Freedom of speech is not a lascivious weasel to lampoon the integrity of others. You must do developmental journalism and interface because part of what we must do is that you must recognize that the website or that blog that you are hosting is being read in Australiaa�?, noting that information already published cannot be retrieved, saying, a�?once you make any update, be sure that it must be a responsible update that will encourage the Nigerian socio- economic developmenta�?.
He called on OMPAN to draw strength from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), which have regulatory bodies backed by law from the National Assembly (NASS).
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)