In an exclusive interview Osewa said such actions are required to prevent continual derailment of threads by those asking irrelevant questions and he believes the censorship can save lives.
“Do you honestly believe we should not have taken any action against the so-called "garri activists", who were derailing every thread by asking irrelevant questions about garri?” he said.
Osewa also justified the forum’s instruction warning members against posting comments that are derogatory to Islam.
When asked why the notice is not placed on the threads of other religions, he said the administrators took the decision to prevent the repetition of past religious violence sparked by anti-Islam posts in print and online media.
“Two hundred innocent people died in November 2002 because a journalist made a comment about the Miss World contest. 16 innocent people died February 2006 because a newspaper in Denmark published an inappropriate cartoon.
“If it is a crime to try to discourage people from posting comments that could lead to lost lives, then we are certainly guilty,” Osewa said.
On how he got the idea to create the forum, he said it stemmed from his previous recognition of the value of online discussion forums.
He said: “I used to be active on various discussion forums online, so I recognised their value. But the Nigerian forums available at the time were dominated by Nigerians abroad.
“They focused on topics like US politics and inter-racial relations. In 2005, after a mobile phone forum I created, because GSM phones were trendy at the time, started taking off, I noticed that the discussions were dominated by Nigerians at home. And it was wonderful.”
Osewa said “off-topic” sections which focused on topics such as romance and politics were particularly popular which led him to believe a “general-purpose” forum focusing on Nigerian life would work.
“So I built Nairaland and closed the mobile phone forum. As expected, Nairaland's local focus appealed to Nigerians at home, including many who didn't know anything about forums.
“But it also appealed to many Nigerians abroad because it made them feel as if they were back in Nigeria. So we got to eat cake and have it. We were very fortunate.”
On the forum’s success story, he said it is as a result of the forum’s loyal and passionate members.
“I feel so blessed to be in charge of the Nairaland Forum. I feel extremely fortunate. I don't think Nairaland has any secrets.
“Nairaland is what it is today because Nairaland members have chosen to stick with us for the past eight years.
“We have loyal and passionate members of all ages who continually enrich each others' lives by sharing information freely on our platform,” Osewa told HumanIPO.