The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has described social media as potent tool which put leaders on their toes and help to checkmate excesses in government.
Saraki stated this in his goodwill message at the maiden public lecture titled: “Building Parameters for Trust to Achieve Political and National Growth,” organised by the Penpushing – a social media platform – held at the Marquee Events Centre, Olusegun Obasanjo Library, Abeokuta, on Saturday.
Saraki congratulated the founder, anniversary committee and the platform members for creating a major avenue for the exchange of information, analysis and debate on national and international issues.
He added that more of such platforms were needed because “it is always better to discuss than to fight.
“From exchange of information, people get enlightened and platforms like yours keep those of us in top government positions on our toes,” he stated.
“We always remember what people on discussion and news groups say about our actions, utterances and attitude. And that serves as a constant check on us. You are definitely contributing a lot to deepening our democracy and improving governance.”
The guest lecturer, Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe, said social media can turn around the world for better, contrary to beliefs that, it is a menace to developmental growth.
The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos declared that the social media has come to stay and there was nothing that could be done until something else replaces it.
He also called for a ‘purgatory’ where all information would be tested, purged and sieved for authenticity, accuracy and truth, before being circulated, stressing that the social media should be free of ‘cut and paste’ messages whose veracity and authenticity had not been confirmed.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prof Idowu Sobowale, said the social media has become a major source of information but also lamented that some people have taken to the platform to settle scores.
Sobowale, a journalism icon noted that the advantages of the social media far outweighs its disadvantages, stating that the platform had helped to unearth societal ills, fight corruption and injustice.
In his remarks, the Special Host, Governor Ibikunle Amosun called for the establishment of an agency that will vet the information meant for the social media before they are released for public consumption.
Earlier, founder of the platform, Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, gave insight into how the publication came into being, explaining that it was an instinct that he should look inward on how to address the threat journalism is facing with the invention of social media.