The State Security Service has begun a nationwide clampdown on social media users who the agency considers promoting ethnic hate in the name of free speech on the internet.
According to the agency’s spokesperson, some people were already arrested.
“Some unpatriotic Nigerians have been using social media platforms to make “unguarded public statements and/or use the social media platforms to instil fear in the minds of citizens,” said Peter Afunaya in a statement on Wednesday
He explained how some social media users were skewing Nigeria’s history to promote ethnic violence and tip the nation into crisis, a development the DSS said must be urgently reversed through state interference.
“These are reflected in the misleading statements and articles being circulated among unsuspecting members of the public. Such inciting materials oftentimes are designed to make or convey false accusations by one group against the other.
“They also resort to skewing historical narratives to suit their objective of masterminding ethnic violence in the nation. So far, some of the culprits have been arrested,” Afunanya said.
The security agency then said it is “determined to ensure that the tribal chauvinists and mischief makers do not continue to exploit socio-political differences and Internet platforms to threaten the peace and stability of the country.”
The SSS vowed to “sustain the apprehension and prosecution of defaulters,” because it would not relent in its quest to prevent crimes and keep Nigeria as an indivisible country.
It also urged regional and community elders should not only desist from making “unguarded statements” but also help shut down all ethnically-charged rhetoric by persons in their respective domains.
The names of those arrested will soon be published.
Nigerians are already reacting to the DSS action.
While many believe it’s in violation of the fundamental rights of Nigerians, others believe freedom of speech, amongst those fundamental rights, must not be abused.