Lai Mohammed

ABUJA—The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has asked Facebook to prevent the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, from using its platform to incite violence.

Speaking at a meeting with a team from Facebook in Abuja yesterday, Mohammed said people had been killed because of the group’s activities.

The minister said Facebook has no justification for yielding its platform to the organisation whose aim is to destabilise the country.

“I have called this meeting to enable us to discuss the increasing use of Facebook by separatists and anarchists, especially those of them based outside the country, to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in Nigeria.

“For whatever reason, they seem to have now chosen Facebook as their platform of choice. And their tools include disinformation, incendiary statements and hate speech.

“They use Facebook broadcasts to reach their followers, who are in thousands. They tag those opposed to their violent ways as ‘saboteurs’ who must be attacked, maimed and killed. They use both English and their local language as it suits them.

“Our social media people have been monitoring these separatists, anarchists and purveyors of hate, and have been reporting their atrocious actions to Facebook, but all they get are default responses that their complaints have been received and are being looked into.

“Most often than not, nothing is done about such complaints. The truth is that whatever Facebook is doing to check these people is mere tokenism and is totally ineffective,” Mohammed said.

The minister, who said he had always advocated  responsible use of social media, added:  “Some have tagged our efforts as an attempt to stifle social media.

“They are wrong because we have no intention of preventing Nigerians from using social media responsibly. All we have been advocating is a responsible use of social media.”

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