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Is the Army Monitoring Phone Calls?

There has been rumors stemming from comments made by Major-General John Enenche, director of defence information concerning the monitoring of Nigerian social media by the military for hate speech, anti-government and anti-security information.

Consecuentially, concerns have grew over whether the government is actually monitoring the activities of Nigerians on social media following the Army’s statement last week.

Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, this week spoke on the issue, saying he’s not aware that phone calls of Nigerians are being monitored. According to him, it is not be a big deal if there is some form of monitoring going on.
The presidential aide also said he has no problem with military monitoring the social media as long as it is part of their “national security duties”.

Shehu in an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Monday, August 28, said he is not aware if the government was monitoring the calls of Nigerians but pointed out that the internet now feeds extremism. He, however, shared the government’s concern about the misuse of the Internet. “I know that this country, in fact, the whole world has a big problem with balancing free speech and what we call in this country hate speech.” “It has many faces depending on which country you are dealing with. In most of these European countries, (and) America, they are dealing with Islamic terror. In America, white extremism and all of that.

All of it fed substantially by the Internet, ” he said. Mallam Shehu also said he does not believe it should be a big deal if there is some form of monitoring going on. He said: “I believe that people can be justified. A lot of countries are taking notes. If Nigeria does it, I don’t know. I’m in a position to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. But if it happens in this country, it is not extraordinary, it is not unusual. Everybody is interested. Look, this thing about international terrorism is big and nobody is leaving it to chances.”

SERAP in an open letter, requested President Muhammadu Buhari to tell the military to stop monitoring Nigerians on social media.
The letter was dated 25 August 2017 and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale said: “use your good offices and leadership position to instruct the military authorities to immediately end any monitoring of activities of Nigerians on the social media.

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