Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the federal government has no intention to ban Facebook for allegedly allowing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) make inciting comments on the platform.
The Minister said this while addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday May 18. Lai noted that the federal government had a fruitful discussion with a team from the social media platform on Tuesday May 17.
“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, killing of soldiers and policemen.
“And that they should 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, be using the Facebook platform to incite violence in Nigeria. And we’ve all seen the real life impact of those war mongering, the young couple who are going to marry, soldiers who were gruesomely murdered.
“Over this weekend in Anambra state police men were killed, military barracks were attacked. And we 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 you’re going to do much more.”
When asked to specifically confirm if there’s a plan to ban Facebook, Lai responded by saying;
“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.”