IPOB: No Intentions To Ban Facebook Over Incitement – FG

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

The Federal Government said it has no intention of banning Facebook operations in Nigeria over alleged inciting statements by the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known on Wednesday while briefing correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja .

TheFact Nigeria gathered that the minister on Tuesday had a meeting with a team from Facebook in Abuja where he told them to prevent the proscribed IPOB from using its platform to incite violence.

Mohammed said his meeting with the team was fruitful as the platform had committed Facebook to do more to check its abuse.

“Oh yes, we did. I had a very fruitful meeting with Facebook yesterday. At that meeting, we expressed our displeasure that Facebook was becoming a platform of choice for those who stay outside Nigeria, in particular, to incite violence, killings, burning of government properties, killing of soldiers and policemen.

“And that they do more than what they are doing now in looking at the contents, which are unwholesome, which are being used on their platforms.

“Incidentally, the BBC did a documentary on this particular issue and found out that some of them who call themselves social media warriors in England, in France and other places, have in recent times, been using the Facebook platform to incite violence in Nigeria.

“And we’ve all seen the real-life impact of those warmongering, the young couple who are going to marry, soldiers who were gruesomely murdered.”

“Over this weekend in Anambra State, policemen were killed, military barracks were attacked. And we did warn Facebook to please, do more than what they are doing now.

“And I must say that their response was quite encouraging. They said they’re going to do much more.”

When asked whether the government planned any action against Facebook if the alleged incitement continues, the Minister stated: “I think I gave you an answer. We had a very robust discussion with Facebook. Facebook saw our point and they said they’re going to do much more than what they are doing. So if they do that, why would we ban them?

“We don’t ban for banning sake. We ban or we only suspend operations if for any reason, lives are threatened and they do not listen. But this is of engagement.”

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