Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says it is “unfair” for people to say the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is because the president’s tweet was deleted.
The minister had announced the suspension on June 4, stating that the decision was because Twitter allowed its platform to be used for activities that “undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
The Twitter suspension, however, came days after a tweet by Buhari, which cited a reference to the civil war experience, was deleted by the social media platform.
Speaking when he featured on Good Morning Nigeria, a programme on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), on Friday, Mohammed insisted that the ban was justified because Twitter allowed the promotion of views that could cause division in the country.
“People have tried to say Twitter was suspended because they deleted the president’s message. I think that is very unfair. We were very clear in what we said. We were very unambiguous that if any platform continues to promote the views of those who want Nigeria to be divided, we will suspend their operations,” he said.
“Secondly, we went ahead to say that henceforth, all OTT — over the top — and other social media platforms operating in Nigeria will have to first register with the Corporate Affairs Commission then apply for licensing with the NBC, that is the broadcasting commission.
“We gave the reason that this has become the platform of choice for [a] separatist leader in particular, who stays comfortably in Europe and directs people to attack the symbols of our sovereignty — the symbols of government authorities.”