By Nwakaego Alajemba
President Muhammadu Buhari has raised concerns over the increasing challenges posed by social media and the dangers with the misuse of online platforms as Nigeria’s elections loom and violent conflicts continue in several parts of the country including Maiduguri, Jos and Kaduna.
The president said enemies of the state were using social media to stir provocations across ethic and religious lines. He assured that government was studying options at checkmating those using technologies to spread fear and hatred.
“Never before have we faced such a challenge. We must all rise to the responsibility of shutting out those disruptive and corrosive forces that hide in today’s world of social media. We need critical minds and independent thinking, to question and question until we are satisfied we have the facts.
“Otherwise, all the progress we have made as a democracy since 1999 is at stake,’’ said the president while addressing the citizens in a nationwide broadcast as part of activities to mark Nigeria’s 58th independence anniversary in Abuja this week.
“Now we have in our hands technology that is a powerful tool that we can and should use for knowledge and understanding.
“As with other countries, we must also learn how to manage those tendencies that, instead, look to abuse new technologies to provoke passions and stir tensions,” said President Buhari while canvassing for positive use of ICT at nation-building.