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IPOB: No plan to ban Facebook, says FG

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Few months after lifting suspension on Twitter, the Federal Government says it has no intention to ban or suspend the ubiquitous social media platform, the Facebook, for alleged inciting statements on the platform by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who gave the  assurance while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, noted that people had been killed as a result of the group’s activities.

Persecondnews recalls that Mohammed, had at a meeting with a team from Facebook in Abuja on Tuesday, asked the social media platform to prevent IPOB from using its platform to incite violence in the country.

According to the Minister, the discussion with the social media platform was fruitful.

He said: “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, 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.

“We have 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 did warn Facebook to please do more than what they are doing now.

” I must say that their response was quite encouraging. They said you are going to do much more.”

On plan to ban Facebook if the inciting violence continues, 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 are 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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