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Mr Tobechukwu Nneli, an Africa Initiative for Governance Scholar, has cautioned Nigerians on the use of free speech on social media as the general elections approach.

News men report that Nneli disclosed this in an interview in Ibadan on Thursday, while speaking on Nwachukwu Egbunike’s book titled “Hashtags: Social media, Politics and Ethnicity in Nigeria”.

Nneli stated that what people termed as a simple post on Instagram or Facebook, a tweet on Twitter or a status update on WhatsApp could work for or against the society.

“I implore everyone to realise that the gadgets we carry have become the greatest weapon of the 21st century.

“While I agree that political ideologies should not be too abstract or extremely imposed; I strongly suggest that politicians clearly state their economic and development ideology.

“Nonetheless, Nwachukwu, has not only given us food for thought as we count down to the 2019 general elections but has strategically alerted us to protect free speech and guard against the conflict initiated by entrepreneurs and social media overlords.

“He reminded us to have the courage to identify the pitfalls of the past, recognise them and move on; and that social media conversations should be subjected to constant scrutiny to avoid becoming harbingers of fake news and propaganda, as it happened during the 2015 general elections.”

Egbunike in his book wrote that the 2015 general elections was the turning point of the role of social media in Nigerian politics.

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