Nollywood actor turned politician Desmond Elliot was recently in the news after a Twitter influencer Dr Olufunmilayo reported that the lawmaker was pushing a bill against the use of social media.
Elliot in his reaction denied the accusations saying it is false and that no House of Assembly can developed such a bill. Sharing a video, he captioned:
“False False False
I never said that
No bill to that effect
No House of Assembly can develop such a bill.”
In the video, Elliot who is a lawmaker at the Lagos State House of Assembly said in part:
“Please, I beg of you, I beg us and everyone. This is not true, it is totally unfounded. Dr Olufunmilayo, why don’t you even verify? Aren’t we going through a lot already? It is not true, period. No State House of Assembly has the jurisdiction to pass any bill like this, it is not possible. It simply lies on the exclusive list on the federal level. You can’t. Every member has a right to say something but you can’t.
The only thing I said towards social media was that the celebrities, social influencers and motivational speakers should know we have followers so we should please cut down on the hate narrative. Everyone is going through so much right now.”
Refusing to back down on his claims, Dr Funmilayo responded to Elliot saying:
“Dear Desmond Elliot, thanks for your quick correction. In the spirit of honesty and transparency, can you please release to the world what you said about celebs and influencers, can you also let the whole world see the video of what you said about social media regulation? Thanks.
“On today’s plenary session, I have reliable information Desmond Elliot blamed celebs/influencers for the carnage and went ahead to advocate social media regulation bill.
The said video has now gone viral on social media and in the video, Elliot called on the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly to “address certain things” like “the Nigerian youth, the social media, the social influencers.”
Elliot referenced the recent #EndSARS protests in the country and according to him “children” were “cursing” in the comments section.
“All of these are making the narratives that we are seeing today. Except we’re joking with ourselves. Social media, though good, has its negative impacts. When I went through the comment, I could not believe it Mr Speaker. The curses, the abuses from children. And I ask myself ‘Is this Nigeria? What is going on?’ Children cursing?”
“Mr Speaker, in the next five years, Nigerian is gone if we don’t start now.”
Elliot also called on celebrities, social media influencers and motivational speakers to use their platforms to “stop the hatred” as they have the means to change governments.
In 2019, Elliot called for the federal government to place a ban on foreign films.
He made this remark during an interview with Nigerian cable television channel, HipTV.
According to him he wants the government to be intentional about the film industry and handle it “like you’re importing rice” by placing a ban on foreign content.
“First they need to create an enabling environment for this industry to thrive. Secondly, they need to consciously, intentionally focus on building the industry. Treat it like you’re importing rice. Okay, you know, so you ban all foreign content. You know, make it difficult for foreign content to come in, so your local content can grow.”