By Ademola Adeleye
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Tuesday said Facebook has no justification for yielding its platform to hate speech of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The Minster in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi said the IPOB had been proscribed and classified as a terrorist organization.
Mohammed who met with a team from Facebook said the IPOB uses Facebook to incite violence and instigate ethnic hatred in Nigeria.
“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
“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,” he said.
He said the actions of the proscribed group have real-life
The Minster said ”By purveying hate and inciting violence, people are getting killed while private and public property are being attacked and destroyed. Security agencies and other symbols of government are their choice targets.”
He said despite the numerous complaints to Facebook on the activities of IPOB, nothing has been done by the company to curtail the group’s excesses on the social media platform.
“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,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the government would be monitoring Facebook and other platforms closely in the days ahead to ensure compliance with
the demand, as it steps up the campaign for the responsible use of social media.
“We have always advocated a responsible use of social media, and consistently called on all stakeholders to join us in achieving this.
“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,” he said.