Social Media and National Security: The Nigerian Army Holds a Seminar with Online Influencers
By Auwal Ahmad
The Nigerian Army, Centre for Civil-Military Affairs (CCMA), organised a one-day seminar on the theme “Emerging Trends on Social Media: Impact on National Security” on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at the 2 Division Officers’ Mess, Ilorin, Kwara State.
The seminar aimed to educate and enlighten social media influencers, bloggers, and online media players on the potential risks and benefits of social media platforms for national security and development. It also sought to foster a positive relationship between the Nigerian Army and the online community and solicit their support and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, insurgency, and other security challenges.
The Special Guest of Honour at the event was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General BA Alabi, who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai. In his opening remarks, he appreciated the support of the people of Kwara State and commended the peaceful disposition of the youths of Ilorin and its environs.
He reassured the participants of the continuous joint collaboration among the security agencies in the state to sustain the level of peace and security being enjoyed in Kwara State.
He also urged the social media players to be more responsible and patriotic in their activities on social media and to avoid spreading fake news, hate speech, inciting comments, and other forms of misinformation that could undermine national security and cohesion. He advised them to use their platforms to promote peace, unity, tolerance, and positive values among Nigerians.
The Commandant of the CCMA, Major General NC Ugbo, also delivered his opening remarks, in which he emphasised the need for all the participants to see the Nigerian Army as their army and to understand the implication of their contents on the security and peace of the nation. He said the seminar was part of the Nigerian Army’s efforts to engage with civil society and enhance its civil-military relations.
Other dignitaries in attendance at the seminar were the Director General of Land Forces Simulation of Nigeria, Major General UA Yusuf, the Kwara State Commissioner for Youth Development, the Representative of the Emir of Ilorin, and prominent social media content creators such as Abdulgafar Abiola (aka cute Abiola) and Mrs. Maryam Apaokagi Greene (aka Taaooma).
The seminar featured a presentation on the Nigerian Army Civil-Military Cooperation Activities and an interactive session where the participants asked questions and made suggestions on how to improve the relationship between the Nigerian Army and the online community.
The seminar also witnessed the presentation of certificates and mementos to all the influencers, online bloggers, and social media players present, as well as the invited guests. The event ended with a group photograph and a vote of thanks by the GOC 2 Division.