Northern leaders, comprising governors, traditional rulers and senior political appointees from the region, yesterday backed the campaign by the federal government to regulate social media.

Reaffirming their commitment to the indivisibility, indissolubility and oneness of Nigeria, the leaders alleged that those pushing for superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot box hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protests to further their separatist agenda.

In a communiqué issued after the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) meeting, the Northern leaders decried “the devastating effect of the social media in spreading fake news,” calling for “control mechanism and censorship of the social media practice in Nigeria.”

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The communiqué, read by Lalong, condemned what it described as “the subversive actions of the #EndSARS change protest” and declared support for a united and indivisible Nigeria.

“The meeting rejects and condemns the subversive actions of the #EndSARS change protest,” it said, adding: “The superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot box soon take advantage of the peaceful protests to push for their separatist agenda.

The Northern leaders also called for strict watch on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to guide against unwarranted and destructive protests as well as to safeguard critical national assets.

The meeting, presided over by the NSGF Chairman and Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, was attended by governors of Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara and Zamfara States.

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The governors of Kogi and Kano states were represented by their deputies.

The leaders said they had resolved to support the police to serve the country better and called for the building of trust between the people and the police.

They commended the National Assembly and the presidency for being proactive in addressing the issues raised by the #EndSARS protesters across the country.

They also expressed concern over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and called for an amicable resolution of the issues to enable students to resume their studies.

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Also at the meeting were the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Wase; and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha.

Others were the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Mohammad Bello, as well as the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III.

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