by Isiaka Wakili
The Federal Government has cautioned against the use of social media as a platform for spreading fear, hatred and violence. Information Minister Lai Mohammed said this in Abuja yesterday at the public presentation of the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
The minister, who noted that Boko Haram had been degraded, urged the media to deny extremist groups “the oxygen of publicity which they badly crave until we collectively dismantle Boko Haram extremist ideologies through constructive alternative narratives.”
He urged all Nigerians to join hands with government to make the country a safer place to live by preventing and countering violent extremism through the use of the soft approach.
“Building resilience against violent extremism in our communities requires collective responsibility of all of us, including women and girls, families, faith-based organizations, civil society organizations, media and social media influencers, political leaders, the private sector, community leaders, artists and social mobilisers,” he said.
Mohammed said the Federal Government was engaging in dialogue with different stakeholders in order to find possible and lasting solutions to the current herder-farmer conflicts.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, who presented the policy framework, said climate change, ethno-religious conflicts, herder-farmer clashes and bad politics combined to present imminent security challenges for all Nigerians.
The NSA said the Federal Government was taking steps to strengthen the law enforcement and security agencies in dealing with these threats to national security. Monguno said government required research, community engagement, involvement of the civil society and all stakeholders to play key roles in building a peaceful and secure country.