Desmond Elliot broke down in an interview on ARISE TV following criticism over a viral video in which he called for the regulation of social media.
The actor turned politician, in a speech in the Lagos State House of Assembly, called the Nigerian youth “children” for “cursing” in the comment section of the speaker of the House and warned that “in the next five years, Nigeria is gone if we don’t start now.”
The lawmaker denied that he was pushing for social media regulation.
“Watching it over and over again, I can see why people thought it meant regulating the social media space. That was not in any way, categorically in any way what I meant. Why would I? When I do things in my constituency, I put it up on the social media space. Why would I ask for that? I could never have called for the social media space to be regulated,” he told ARISE News on Thursday.
On his outburst about Nigeria ceasing to exist in five years, the lawmaker, in tears, clarified that he was referring to the aftermath of the shooting of #EndSARS protesters in Lagos, and the subsequent looting and damaged he saw when he visited his constituency.
“Some of these people just get information off the internet, the social media space. People were talking about it whilst we were there. So I left there immediately and went to Plenary. To tell you the truth, I had not gotten over it.”
“I was overwhelmed. I watched as people were killed. On 20th of October, I was devastated.
Elliot said he started getting death threats.
“If we don’t control that narrative, we will not have a country- that was what I meant.”
Elliot also apologized for his comments and said his emotions had gotten the better of him. “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 and looting of businesses I witnessed when I went on a tour of my constituency.
“I allowed my emotions get the better of me and for this I apologize to everyone my earlier statements may have hurt,” he said.