Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and culture
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and culture

Twitter ban: Reasons Nigeria Suspended Twitter’s Operation – Lai Mohammed

TECH DIGEST – The federal government has spoken on the indefinite suspension of operations of the social media giant, Twitter in Nigeria.

Earlier, reported that the government had halted the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in the country.

Commenting on the report, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, confirmed it to be true in a statement made available by Segun Adeyemi, the special assistant to the president on Media in Abuja on Friday, June 4.

Mohammed explained that the decision was taken to curb the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

The minister, however, disclosed that President Muhammdu Buhari’s administration has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

This medium previously reported that the federal government had accused the social media giant, Twitter, of taking sides i​​n the agitations of the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East Nigeria.

This allegation surfaced barely one hour after Twitter on Wednesday deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet threatening action against the people supposedly disturbing the peace of the nation.

Mohammed said: “Twitter had not been fair to Nigeria”, saying while the social media giant had conveniently ignored inciting tweets by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and his cohorts, displaying the same biases it did during the #ENDSARS protest, where government and private properties were looted and set on fire, all in the name of right to protest, it found the President’s tweets offensive.

Twitter may have its own rules; it’s not the universal rule. If Mr. President, anywhere in the world feels very bad and concern about a situation, he is free to express such views. Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges. If an organization is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed.

“Two, any organization that gives directives to its members, to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centres, to kill warders, and you are now saying that Mr. President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that? We are the ones guilty of double standards.

“I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, a person will stay somewhere outside Nigeria, and will direct his members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organisation has been proscribed. By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with,” he said.