Any social media platform used to bring down Nigeria will be suspended – Lai Mohammed

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Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, said that the federal government will not hesitate to suspend any social media platform, which allows activities that have a negative impact on the country.

The minister said this when appearing before a house of representatives investigative panel.

Recall that the House of Representatives has summoned him to explain the circumstances behind the decision of the government to suspend Twitter’s operations in the country.

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Lai told the house committees on communication, justice, information and culture, and national security and intelligence, that the American social networking service, Twitter, has become a platform for those who want to “bring down” the country.

He, however, said the government would also suspend any platform that wants to toe the same path as Twitter.

“On Twitter not being the only social media in Nigeria but banning Twitter alone, honestly, we suspended Twitter because Twitter became a platform of choice for those that want to bring down this country,” the minister said.

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“If any other platform does it, we will suspend their operations too. It is because there is a country called Nigeria that they have business here.

“Honestly, I think it is a good opportunity for our very resourceful Nigerians to also look at how they can have an app that can replace Twitter, and it would be patronized by all of us. We have received a few approaches and we want to encourage them.”

The minister said for those whose businesses are affected by the Twitter suspension, there are other social media platforms operating in the country.

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He also noted that the government is open to discussion with Twitter and its suspension may be reversed after meeting the conditions imposed by the government.

“As I have said, we owe no responsibility to Twitter. It is not registered in Nigeria. It does not employ Nigerians. It does not pay taxes to Nigeria,” he said.

“If Nigerians do make money through Twitter, unfortunately, Nigeria has to be a country first before they can make that money. Like I said, there are other platforms available to them. Hopefully, if we are able to resolve this matter quickly, they will resume use of Twitter.

“The doors are not closed. We are willing to speak to Twitter. Twitter has written a letter seeking for government dialogue and just today, I did issue a statement which I announced the government’s team that is ready to meet Twitter,” he said.

“When I leave here, I intend to see whether we can have a preliminary meeting of that committee. We hope that the committee will be able to meet first and that the committee would have a good dialogue with Twitter.

“But like we said, there are two basic things that Twitter or any OTT or social media needs to do — they must first be registered as a Nigerian company after which they will apply for a license. Other conditions will come up as we go along.”

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