By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos
The Commander of the Special Military Task Force otherwise known as Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Major General Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, has appealed to youths and social media users not to misuse the platform as the sensitivity of it can trigger crisis.
Okonkwo said that when untrue information are disseminated, it incites people to take up arms leading to needless crisis that has often led to people being displaced from their ancestral homes.
“We have to desist from using the social media to misinform the public or incite people, It’s always good to get the full details of any incident before we post them, so that our posts or reports are balanced”, he said.
The Army boss stated this on Monday in Jos, during a one-day summit to sensitize youths and social media users on the need to be true ambassadors by using the social tools to preach peace.
With the theme “harnessing social media potentials for building peace architecture and community resilience forum in Plateau state, southern Kaduna and Nigeria”, Okonkwo charged the participants to support security agencies by helping to provide information that lead to the arrest of criminals rather than spreading falsehood.
According to him: “the importance of this summit for youth leaders and social media influencers cannot be over emphasized considering the role of youth leaders and impact of social media in our society; particularly in terms of security and peace building.
“I therefore wish to urge the participants to be open to what will be discussed in the summit and feel free to contribute and clear doubts; so that you will be able to impact your communities positively.
“As youth leaders and social media influencers, you are critical to our efforts to ensure peace and security in your communities. As future leaders, this is the time to start building capacity and acquiring relevant skills so as to be able to contribute to the development of your communities, states and the nation.
“A single mischievous post aimed at inciting the public against ethnic or religious groups can lead to dire consequences. Apart from violence that may lead to death of innocent citizens and destruction of property, the actual criminals are shielded and are emboldened to further perpetuate crime in our communities”, Okonkwo said.