Media Users Pledge To Refrain From Abusive Content, As Nigerian Army Holds Social Media Seminar In Abia


Following the 33rd Edition of the Social Media Seminar organized by the Nigerian Army in Aba, the Commercial centre of Abia State, Social Media users have pledged to refrain from posting abusive contents, fake news, hate speeches and other ill contents.

Arising from the all important seminar which doubled as the first of it’s kind in Abia, journalists, bloggers,media influencers, promised to make responsible use of the media for the purpose of enhancing National Security.

In an interview with some participants at the event captioned,”Enhancing National Security Through The Responsible Use Of Social Media”,the Abia State Chairman of Online Media Practitioners Association Of Nigeria (OMPAN), Mr Promise Uzoma Okoro, said the seminar has exposed media practitioners to the fact that the content they share has the capacity to cause tension in the country if negatively released to the public.

According to him, the seminar availed social media users the dangers of posting unverified information and other derogatory contents, adding that since after the seminar, he has improved on the contents he shares on his media handles.

Promise Uzoma Okoro

The OMPAN chairman, however, called on other online users to be responsible users of the media and as well,avoid any post that is capable of heating up the polity or tearing apart the peaceful coexistence of the nation, while appreciating the Nigerian Army for coming up with the seminar, which he appealed to be done regularly.

The Abia state Director, Behind Bars Human Right Defenders,Ochiegbu Marvelous, commended the Nigerian Military for organizing the seminar which he described as impactful, stressing that the event has helped in changing the negative perception about the Army.

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Ochiegbu Marvelous

He said the interface between the Army and social media users, has not only helped in curtailing the negative use of the media, but also in eradicating the notion and fear conceived about the military, assuring that he would put into good use the knowledge acquired, promising to be a responsible online user.

Also, a Social Media Influencer, Anthony Uka (TonySteve), said the seminar was apt, since doing the right thing would always create room for a progressive and sustainable outcome.

Anthony Uka

He re-emphasized the need for online users to be intentional about their contents, urging them to totally avoid fake news and any content that could jeopardize the nation’s security and the safety of Nigerians, adding that he would henceforth abide by the rules of information dissemination to the public.

Another participant, Engr Josiah Collins Chinaza, pledged his commitment to use the social media responsibly and ethically,adding that he would ensure his contents are well presented and free from any form of hate.

Josiah Collins

He, however, called on other users to ensure accuracy, security and respect for policies and guidelines, while promoting positive engagement and awareness of risks.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Enugu, Major Gen. Hassan Dada, while declaring open the seminar which is 33rd in the series with fake and unsubstantiated reports, the nation can be set up in flames, urging for an end to harmful contents on media and social media spaces.

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He explained that the seminar was introduced and organised by the Nigerian Army “to provide a veritable platform to keep our youths abreast of its activities which are geared towards ensuring our national security.”

Gen. Dada urged social media influencers and content creators to use their media messages for development purposes and not to cause problems in society. He said the seminar would serve as a forum to efficiently equip the youths in the state with the information required to guarantee a safe and secure society for all.

The GOC expressed optimism that the outcome of the one-day seminar would assist “in consolidating our operational achievements and enhance the economic development of Abia in particular and the South East region in general.”

In his remark, the Bridge Commander in charge of 14 Brigade Ohafia, Brigadier Gen. Olusola Diya, noted that social media had their good sides, and urged that the merits of the platform be maximized for the good of all.

He also urged that the social media be used to bring the attention of the military hierarchy, the misdeeds of some military personnel. “Use your social media handle to report to the nearest military establishment about the excesses of some bad eggs among the military while on duty. “We know of so many atrocities including extortions at the checkpoints.We need information and we will deal with the soldiers involved immediately”,he said.

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Cross section of participants during Lunch break

The Army said it will work with the civilian communities by maintaining and promoting harmonious relationships to build an enabling environment for the attainment of sustainable peace and improved national security.

Contributing, a Nollywood star, Osita Iheme, also known as PawPaw, urged online users to shift away from making post or content that causes tension or strife, urging them to keep their platforms entertaining, educative and informative, adding that they could also generate huge traffic from it.

Earlier during their Papers presentation, Dr Ehiz Odigie and Prof UJ Ogbonna respectively took the participants through the topics,”Curtailing Negative Content on Social Media: Responsibilities of Users and “Fake News on Social Media and It’s Effects on National Security”.

The Presenters maintained that if the nation’s security must be sustained, then social media users must be responsible in their posts and comments, shunning any post that could incite religious, ethnic or tribal crises.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of certificates and souvenirs to the participants.