From all indications, we seem not to have fully realised it that cell phones, CCTVs, and social media have changed our world in both significant and dangerous ways. With in-built high-resolution cameras, high fidelity video and audio recording functions, the little smartphones we see nowadays in the hands of almost everyone have become cold evidence-gathering eyes and ears all around us.
With these ubiquitous, compact electronic eyes and ears, there appear to be few or no hiding places any longer for anyone, but many of us are yet to come to terms with this reality.
Late last year, a scandalous video which appeared to show a state governor ostensibly being compromised went viral on the social media.
Similarly, around May this year, a CCTV footage of the lawmaker representing Adamawa-North senatorial district, Senator Elisha Abbo, physically assaulting a lady shop counter staff also trended on the social media. As a result of pressure mounted by Nigerians, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered the arrest of Senator Abbo and the Senate instituted a probe into the case.
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Much more recently, another video – a product of another sting operation, this time by BBC African Eye – went viral on the social media. Undercover reporter, Kiki Mordi, had, according to the video released by the BBC visited Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, a lecturer at the University of Lagos posing as a 17-year-old admission seeker. The video clip showed the lecturer making sexual advances to the “student”. Dr Igbeneghu is yet to extricate himself from the scandal as he is still being investigated by the university authorities.
A world full of recording eyes and ears will augur well for the society if we can properly respond to it by becoming more conscious that we are being watched and listened to almost all the time by latent recordable eyes and ears. What it means is that we need to learn to comport ourselves in decent ways all the time, whether in public or private.
Security agents who mount roadblocks and extort money from road users in public glare must realise that their games are up. Those who commit one crime or the other believing that their activities are concealed also need to desist as there are no more hiding places in a world proliferated by smartphones, CCTVs and social media.