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Twitter approach to dialogue is tepid – Lai Mohammed


The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohamed says Twitter is showing little enthusiasm toward the dialogue it initiated to resolve issues leading to the suspension of its operations.

The minister said this on Friday when he featured on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme “Good Morning Nigeria’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“I think there is a tepid approach by Twitter.

“I say tepid because, on Wednesday, I got a call from one of the foreign missions that Twitter is ready to have a serious discussion with high-level members of government on this issue.

“But since then, mum has been the word and that is why I said tepidly.

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“As of today, I do not see Twitter as being sincere in its approach to resolving the issue,’’ he said.

The minister reiterated the position that the operations of Twitter were suspended indefinitely because the platform was being used to promote the views of those who want the country to be divided.

He said the action taken by the government was neither because Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s message nor it chose Ghana above Nigeria as a preferred location for its regional headquarters.

“Whether they are in Ghana or in Nigeria or anywhere else, if they allow their platform to be used to destabilise Nigeria, we will do the same.

“Of what importance will the investment be to us if they destroy our country,’’ he said.

For the many youths who said their livelihood depended on Twitter, the minister said, there must be a country for them to earn a living.

He said if twitter was allowed to plunge the country into war with its activities, every Nigerian, including the youth would pay dearly for it.

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Mohammed urged the youth to take advantage of other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google to explore their business ventures.

NAN reports that the Federal Government suspended indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter in Nigeria.

Mohammed who announced the suspension cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

He said the Federal Government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in the country.

The minister, at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, said Twitter was seeking dialogue over the indefinite suspension.

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