Nigerian Army Warns Bloggers and Influencers Against Inciting Violence for Online Engagement

The Nigerian Army warns bloggers and influencers against inciting violence, emphasizing responsible social media use for national security. They also address misconduct allegations and hold a seminar to promote civil-military collaboration.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Nigerian Army Warns Bloggers and Influencers Against Inciting Violence for Online Engagement

Nigerian Army Warns Bloggers and Influencers Against Inciting Violence for Online Engagement

The Nigerian Army has issued a stern warning to bloggers and social media influencers against inciting violence and unrest in pursuit of online traffic and engagement. Brigadier Gen. Olusola Diya, the Bridge Commander in charge of 14 Brigade Ohafia, stated that there will be severe sanctions against any military personnel found harassing commuters at checkpoints for having dreadlocks, emphasizing that there is no law prohibiting people from having this hairstyle.

Brigadier Gen. Diya also addressed the recent alleged torture to death of a hotel staff in Umuahia by soldiers, apologizing for their unprofessional conduct. "The soldiers have been arrested and will be put on trial," he said. The Army's Director of Psychological Operations, Brigadier Gen. B.S Keji, urged bloggers and social media influencers to use their platforms to promote peace, not crisis. "Do not disseminate harmful content that could cause tension or crisis in your pursuit of online traffic," he warned.

The Nigerian Army held a social media seminar in Aba, Abia State, on April 23, 2024, to enhance civil-military relationships and address the negative impact of fake news and irresponsible social media use on national security. The seminar, themed 'Enhancing National Security through Responsible Use of Social Media,' was attended by over 300 social media influencers, bloggers, media practitioners, and the general public.

Major General N.C. Ugbo, the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, stated that the seminar aimed to forge pathways towards harmonious coexistence and empower social media users, especially youths, on the responsible use of their platforms. Experts warned about the dangers of negative content, fake news, and online bullying, emphasizing the need for fact-checking and responsible social media use to avoid heating up the polity and undermining national security.

Why this matters: The Nigerian Army's warning to bloggers and influencers highlights the growing concern over the impact of social media on national security and stability. As online platforms continue to shape public discourse and influence opinions, it is essential for users to exercise responsibility and verify information to prevent the spread of misinformation and incitement of violence.

The Nigerian Army's social media seminar in Abia State is part of its ongoing efforts to foster collaboration with media players to address national security challenges. Maj.-Gen. Nosa Ugbo emphasized the pivotal role of social media users in nation-building, stating, "Social media users have a responsibility to use these platforms to promote peace and not to cause a breach of security." The Army also reiterated its commitment to investigating and holding accountable any military personnel found guilty of unprofessional conduct or human rights violations.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigerian Army warns bloggers, influencers against inciting violence for online traffic.
  • Soldiers accused of torturing hotel staff to death will be put on trial.
  • The Army holds social media seminar to promote responsible use and address fake news.
  • Army urges social media users to use platforms to promote peace, not crisis.
  • Army reiterates commitment to investigating and holding accountable personnel for misconduct.