The federal government has disclosed that it has no plan of banning social media platform, Facebook, in Nigeria over the use of the platform by separatist groups to incite violence.
Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the government had a robust engagement with Facebook on Tuesday, saying they promised to look into government’s grievances.
The minister said the response of Facebook was encouraging and based on that thee government has no reason to suspend the platform.
He said, “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 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 do more than what they are doing now in looking at the unwholesome contents 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, beeen 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 were 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 are going to do much more.”
On plans to ban Facebook, he said “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,” the Minister added.