Lagos lawmaker, Desmond Elliot has apologised for addressing Nigerian youths as children while pushing for social media regulation in Nigeria.
Earlier on Thursday, October 29, 2020, a video of the lawmaker reacting to the recent looting and destruction of properties in Lagos during a plenary session at the Lagos State House of Assembly was published.
While speaking on the floor of the House, the actor turned politician pushed for social media regulation, saying Nigerian celebrities and social media influencers promote hate speech in the country.
Elliot said he didn't believe that ‘children’ on social media could be bold enough to curse and insult their leaders following the Lekki shooting incident on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
"If you're tired, come and enter government." - Desmond Elliot, member of Lagos House of Assembly. pic.twitter.com/YbHdnLGRtN— Pulse Nigeria (@PulseNigeria247) October 29, 2020
The video in which he called on celebrities and social media influencers in Nigeria to stop fueling hatred has however gone viral as many Nigerians and celebrities dragged him on Twitter.
The lawmaker, who recently posted a video to debunk the claim that he was pushing for social media regulation, also called on the Lagos State Government to act urgently to subdue the narrative on social media.
Confirm your allegation before posting, stop stirring up negative emotions . pic.twitter.com/rxR0525Lxz— Desmond Elliot (@DesmondOElliot) October 26, 2020
However, hours after he became a subject of derision on Twitter, the lawmaker has in a statement, tendered an unreserved apology to Nigerians, saying his comment was borne out of the magnitude of destruction of properties and looting of businesses that followed the Endsars protest in Lagos.
1. I have read your honest feedback& suggestions& I sincerely apologize for addressing the youth as “Children”— Desmond Elliot (@DesmondOElliot) October 29, 2020
I did not mean to be insensitive with this, it was borne out of the magnitude of destruction&looting of businesses I witnessed when I went on a tour of my constituency
The statement reads, “I have read your honest feedback& suggestions& I sincerely apologize for addressing the youth as “Children” I did not mean to be insensitive with this, it was borne out of the magnitude of destruction & looting of businesses I witnessed when I went on a tour of my constituency
“I saw women crying and my constituent members distraught as a result of the damages inflicted on their source of livelihood. I was moved by this while giving my submission on the floor of the House.
“I allowed my emotions get the better of me and for this I apologize to everyone my earlier statements may have hurt.
“Please, understand that even the best of us make mistakes. This is why, moving forward, I ask that we all try to engage constructively on the issues that affect all of us. I promise to do the same.
“The pain that I feel for my constituents, the calls for assistance that I continue to get, and the need to mitigate against further destruction and violence will continue to drive my engagements and my work.
“I thank you all for expressing your views, and in the future, I promise to be more conscious and aware. Together, we will build a better Nigeria.
Meanwhile, many celebrities have expressed their disappointment in Elliot, who rose from the entertainment industry to become a politician in Lagos, the economic capital of the country.
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