Nollywood actor turned politician Desmond Elliot has apologised for his outburst against the use of social media.
Elliot, who represents Surulere Constituency 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, had come under fire after saying Nigeria could break up within five years if social media is not regulated.
Elliot’s comment echoed that of information minister Lai Mohammed who said the government must acquire the technology to “shut down social media at will”.
Elliot had also accused celebs and social media influencers of using their platforms to spread hate. The 46-year-old also called Nigerian youth “children” who had were so uncouth they insulted their elders on social media.
The Lagos lawmaker apologised after videos of him praising the importance of social media was circulated online. He made the positive comments before joining politics. He said he couldn’t have won the election without social media.
Elliot has now apologised.
“I have read your honest feedback and suggestions and I sincerely apologize for addressing the youth as ‘children’,” Elliot tweeted after Nigerians descended on him.
“I did not mean to be insensitive with this. It was borne out of the magnitude of destruction and 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,” he said.