Lai on Twitter ban: Nigerians still have Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp… there’s freedom of speech

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the ban on Twitter in Nigeria does not stifle the citizens’ freedom of expression.

Twitter was suspended two days after it deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s handle for violating its policy.

Speaking on the development on Wednesday, the minister said Nigerians still have the options of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

Referring to a fact-check by TheCable, he maintained that Twitter played a prominent role in the destruction that took place after the #EndSARS protest was hijacked, and as such, must be sanctioned.

“I want to repeat that it is because Twitter has consistently made its platform available to those who are threatening Nigeria’s corporate existence, that is the reason for suspending their operations in Nigeria,” Mohammed said.

“For those that have heard that the ban is not effective, to the best of my knowledge, I think the ban is very effective. Many commentators have said suspending the operations of Twitter is like stifling freedom of expression. And I said ‘no. Twitter is just one of the many platforms through which Nigerians can express themselves. There is Facebook; there is Instagram; there’s WhatsApp; there’s Google Hangout, and others. They have not been suspended.

“When I addressed you on Wednesday, I said, among other things that Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is suspect. And I went further to say yes, that Twitter funded the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria last year. And people have challenged it. And I’m glad that TheCable has done some fact finding and their conclusions are as follows: they said the truth is that, fact checking showed that indeed, Twitter played a prominent role in helping to raise funds for the #EndSARS protesters.

Read the full story in The Cable


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