Facebook and other social media platforms have been cautioned to prohibit the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) from using their platforms to incite violence and generate ethnic chaos in the country.
The Minister for information and culture,Alhaji Lai Mohammed who gave the warning on Tuesday at a meeting with a team from Facebook said since the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB, Facebook has no justification for allowing its platform to the organisation to further its campaign of hate and destabilisation of 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 the 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,” Mohammed said.
He said the actions of IPOB have real-life implications, adding that “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, “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.”