Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says Twitter is the web-based media platform of choice for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to “destabilise Nigeria”.
Mohammed made this known on Monday evening during an interview with BBC News Africa monitored by The PUNCH.
The minister, while defending the Federal Government’s Twitter ban, maintained that the regime won’t allow any separatist set the country on fire.
He said, “The government has suspended indefinitely the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“The government also directed the regulatory agency which is the National Broadcasting Commission to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
“The main reason for this is because of the persistent use of Twitter in particular for activities that are inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
Mohammed added, “IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu in particular, his platform of choice to destabilise the country is Twitter.
“Twitter is actually the platform of choice for the separatist leader who resides outside Nigeria but issues directives for his members to attack the symbols of authority such as policemen, soldiers, correctional centres, electoral offices and this has been done willfully and consistently without consequences using always the Twitter platform.”
Mohammed noted that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, would decide the prosecution of persons violating the Twitter ban.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Federal Government, last week, suspended Twitter after the micro-blogging platform deleted a controversial civil war post by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Mohammed had accused Twitter of double standards for sparing Kanu’s tweets yet clamped down on his principal.
The San Francisco-based social media giant subsequently deleted a tweet by Kanu where he threatened that “any army they send to #Biafraland will die there. None will return alive even if it means sacrificing my people”. The IPOB leader has over 300,000 followers on Twitter.
The Buhari regime has since come under fire for what many termed as a restriction of the right of expression. The international community including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, amongst others have since knocked the Buhari regime for the action but the Federal Government has been unyielding in its stance.