Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has blamed twitter for the loss of lives and property during last year ENDSARS protest noting that Twitter has formally written to seek for dialogue on issues leading to the indefinite suspension of its operations in the country.
Mohammed stated this when he featured on “Politics Nationwide,” a Radio Nigeria call-in program.
The minister added that the government would not allow any platform to destabilise the country with its operations stressing that Twitter raised funds through Bitcoins to sponsor the EndSARS protest which was also used to fuel the crisis.
The minister stressed that it was unfair to conclude that the operation of Twitter was suspended indefinitely because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s message.
“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 forgotten that EndSARS led to the loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.
“164 police vehicles and 134 police stations were razed to the ground, 265 private corporate organisation were looted while 243 public property were looted.
“81 warehouses were looted while over 200 brand new buses bought by Lagos State Government were burnt to ashes,’’ he said.
Mohammed said among other conditions for Twitter to resume operation in Nigeria, there must be an agreement as to what contents it could post.
“I can confirm that Twitter has written the Federal Government that they are ready to talk. As we have always maintained, the door is not locked and we are open-minded but Twitter must work towards it,” he said.
He said Twitter and other platforms must also register as a Nigerian company, obtain a license from the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC and be guided by the rules of the licensing as well as pay taxes.
According to the minister, regulation of social media platforms is becoming a global practice.
He however added that most countries were just waking up to the fact that the platforms were becoming more powerful than even government and needed to be regulated.
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