The Nigerian military has set up strategic media centres to screen for anti-government activities on social media.
This was disclosed Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche while he was speaking on Channels Television on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
He said the military has started paying more attention to the activities of Nigerians on social media as a reaction to the rise in misinformation and hate speeches that have gripped the country.
He said these actions are capable of jeopardising the security and unity of the country, and that the military is ready to prevent that.
He said, “Imagine when the President came back and addressed the nation, not up to 30 minutes later, a fake speech of the Commander-in-Chief was being circulated in order to do what? To derail the people.
“If you are not very sharp and if you didn’t listen to the speech or you don’t have a copy of it like I had it almost immediately, you wouldn’t know. So, looking at it from that perspective, it is a challenge everywhere.”
Describing social media as “a double-edged sword”, he said the military is monitoring activities that might be deemed as fostering disunity in the country.
He said, “We have our strategic media centres that monitor the social media to be able to sieve out and react to all the ones that will be anti-government, be anti-military, (and) be anti-security.
“We tackle them appropriately with appropriate responses. Ahead of that, we are also proactive. We have measures in place, scientific measures to be able to sieve this information and also to get the public and let them know that some of this information they are getting is not genuine are not true and their objective is an anti-corporate existence of this country.”
Major-General Enenche’s words echo those of President Muhammadu Buhari in his national address on Monday, August 21, as he expressed displeasure at social media comments that “crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation.”
The president promised to crack down on anything that disturbs the unity of the country, saying that it is “settled and not negotiable.”