President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned Nigerians on how they conduct themselves on social media where he alleged that "disruptive and corrosive forces" hide to provoke tensions.
The president raised the alarm on the usage of social media in his national broadcast on the occasion of Nigeria's 58th Independence anniversary at the Presidential Villa on October 1, 2018.
The president noted that the country had never faced the 'challenge' of such a technology which some are abusing to "provoke passions and stir tensions".
He said, "Fellow Nigerians, now we have in our hands technology that is a powerful tool that we can and should use for knowledge and understanding. As with other countries, we must also learn how to manage those tendencies that, instead, look to abuse new technologies to provoke passions and stir tensions.
"Never before have we faced such a challenge. We must all rise to the responsibility of shutting out those disruptive and corrosive forces that hide in today's world of social media.
"We need critical minds and independent thinking, to question and question until we are satisfied we have the facts. Otherwise, all the progress we have made as a democracy since 1999 is at stake."
INEC will be independent - Buhari
The president also assured Nigerians that he'll ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducts free and fair elections in 2019.
"I have committed myself many times to ensure that elections are fully participatory, free and fair and that the Independent National Electoral Commission will be exactly INDEPENDENT and properly staffed and resourced. The ballot box is how we make our choice for the governments that rule in our name," he said.
In his address, the president highlighted the 'steady improvement' in the security situation in the North East where military troops battle against terrorist group, Boko Haram. He promised Nigerians that his government is committed towards preventing the terrorist group from fulfilling its goal to capture territories and destroy democracy.
While speaking about the herders-farmers crisis that has claimed the lives of hundreds of victims this year alone, President Buhari reiterated his earlier position that the it is being exploited by self-serving individuals and pledged his administration's resolve towards finding a lasting solution.
He also praised his administration for making strides in its anti-corruption war, noting that he has created an enabling environment for local and foreign investment in Nigeria.
He praised Nigerian youths and highlighted their important role in nation-building, and promised to continue to work tirelessly to promote, protect and preserve a united, peaceful, prosperous and secure Nigeria.
Read his full speech here.