Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on tuesday, disclosed that the microblogging platform Twitter, rejected the Nigerian government’s demand which required that the account of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, be blocked/deleted.
This was stated by the minister who featured on ‘Politics Nationwide,’ a Nigeria call-in Radio programme in Abuja.
The minister insisted that Twitter was suspended in Nigeria because the platform was being used to promote the views of those who wanted to destabilise the country.
Mohammed said that it was unfair to conclude that Twitter was suspended only because it deleted a tweet posted by President of Nigeria.
In his words, “Twitter has become a platform of choice for a particular separatist promoter.
“The promoter consistently used the platform to direct his loyalists to kill Nigerian soldiers and policemen, run-down INEC offices and destroy all symbols of Nigeria’s sovereignty.
“Every attempt to persuade Twitter to deny its platform to this separatist leader was not taken seriously.”
He also added that the Nigerian government had no apology to offer to those who were unhappy with the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.
He argued that a country must exist in peace before citizens could exercise freedom of speech.
Lai Mohammed went further to blame Twitter and its founder, Jack Dorsey for the violence and destruction of property recorded in different parts of the country during the #EndSARS protests.
He alleged that Dorsey raised funds through bitcoins to sponsor the #EndSARS protest while his platform, Twitter, was used to fuel the crisis.
Mohammed quoted an unnamed online medium which he alleged indicted Dorsey for his role in the protest through its investigations and independent fact-checking.
The minister said the online publication confirmed that Dorsey retweeted posts made by some members of the coalition that supported the #EndSARS protest.
He said it was also confirmed that the Twitter founder did not only launch a bitcoin fundraising campaign for the protesters but also launched an emoji to make the #EndSARS protest visible on the microblogging site.
“If you ask people to donate money via bitcoins for #EndSARS protesters then you are vicariously liable for whatever is the outcome of the protest.
“We have not forgotten that #EndSARS led to the loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.
“One hundred and sixty-four police vehicles and 134 police stations were razed to the ground, 265 private corporate organisations were looted while 243 public property were looted.
“Eighty-one warehouses were looted while over 200 brand new buses bought by Lagos State Government were burnt to ashes,’’ He said.