No plan to ban Facebook over IPOB, government clarifies

The Federal Government, yesterday, declared that it was not nursing any intention to ban Facebook over alleged inciting statements by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the clarification while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

Specifically, the minister had at a meeting with a team from Facebook in Abuja on Tuesday, asked the social media platform to stop IPOB from using its platform to “incite violence.”

Mohammed had claimed that people had been killed due to the group’s activities.

But responding to rife speculation that government intends to ban the social medium as it did to Twitter, the minister reacted negatively.

He said: “I had a very fruitful meeting with Facebook yesterday (Tuesday). At that meeting, we expressed our displeasure that Facebook was becoming a power of choice for those who stay outside Nigeria, in particular, to incite violence, killings, burning of government properties, and killing of soldiers and policemen.

“And that they should do more than what they are doing now in looking at the contents.

“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, 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 were going to marry and soldiers who were gruesomely murdered.”

Mohammed added: “Over the weekend in Anambra State, policemen were killed and military barracks attacked. 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 promised to do much more.”


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