The Federal Government has urged Facebook and other social media platforms not to allow the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to use their platforms to incite ethnic hatred and violence.
Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, made the request during a meeting with a Facebook team in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Mohammed’s media aide, Segun Adeyemi, Facebook has no justification to continue allowing IPOB to use its platform to further its campaign of hate and destabilisation of the country since it was proscribed and classified as a terrorist organization.
“I have called this meeting to discuss the growing use of Facebook by separatists and anarchists, particularly those based outside the country, to incite violence and ethnic hatred in Nigeria,” he said.
For whatever reason, they appear to have settled on Facebook as their preferred platform. Disinformation, incendiary statements, and hate speech are among their tools. They use Facebook broadcasts to reach their thousands of followers. They label those who disagree with their violent methods as “saboteurs” who must be attacked, maimed, or killed. They converse in both English and their native tongue as needed.”
“By spreading hate and inciting violence, people are being killed, while private and public property is being attacked and destroyed,” he said, adding that the banned group’s actions have real-world consequences. Their preferred targets are security agencies and other government symbols.”
Despite numerous complaints to Facebook about IPOB’s activities, the Minister claims that the company has done nothing to curb the group’s excesses on the social media platform.
“Our social media team has been watching these separatists, anarchists, and hate preachers and reporting their heinous actions to Facebook, but all they get are canned responses stating that their complaints have been received and are being investigated.”
“Most of the time, nothing is done in response to such complaints. “The truth is that whatever Facebook is doing to keep these people in check is purely symbolic and ineffective,” he said.
Mohammed stated that the government would be closely monitoring Facebook and other platforms in the coming days to ensure compliance with the demand as the campaign for responsible social media use ramps up.