The Federal Government on Thursday, lamented over the use of social media to propagate dangerous ideas among Nigerians, stressing that the unity of Nigeria is at stake.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, lamented that the menace was at its peak when President Muhammadu Buhari began his term in office.
He spoke while delivering his keynote address at the 2019 Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, annual lecture titled: ”Extremism: A Threat To National Unity” in Abuja.
Mohammed said: “This topic could not have come at a better time, and I thank the FRCN for zeroing in on the issue of our national unity. Whether in the area of politics, ethnicity or religion, extremists are tugging at the very core of our national unity.
“The tell-tale signs of extremism are all too glaring around us, whether it is the secessionist agitations, growing ethnic nationalism, religious extremism or even banditry and insurgency.
“As a matter of fact, the situation was so dire when we came in for a second term that we at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture decided that out first Town Hall Meeting will be devoted to
the issue of national unity.
“Other exigencies have delayed this, but we remain committed to having a Special Town Hall Meeting on National Unity before the end of this year in order to foster a national dialogue on this all-important issue, so we can X-ray the challenges that extremism poses to nation-building and then fashion out a blueprint for preventing extremist carnage. This lecture by the FRCN is a good start, and I am eager to share in the thoughts of our Guest Lecturer for today.
“Before then, let me quickly say that some of the tools of choice for extremists to propagate their dangerous ideas include unbridled propaganda, fake news and hate speech. These are very potent tools in the hands of extremists, whether they are secessionists, ultra-nationalists, religious extremists or even insurgents. And that explains why, since 2017, we have been campaigning against fake news and hate speech.”