The Federal Government has accused the social media platform, Facebook of being responsible for the violence being perpetrated by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East.
The government said IPOB has been using Facebook to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in the country and the social media platform could not do anything to curtail the activities of the group.
Naija News reports that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known at a meeting with a team from Facebook in Abuja on Tuesday
Mohammed said Facebook has no reason to allow its platform to be used by the outlawed group whose aim is to destabilise the country.
He said: “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,” he said.
“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.”
The minister said the plan by the government to regulate social media is not an attempt to stifle the press or encroach on press freedom.
Mohammed said the Buhari administration is just advocating for the responsible use of social media.
He 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.”