Twitter rejected Nigeria’s demand to block Nnamdi Kanu’s account– Lai Mohammed

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Microblogging platform Twitter rejected the Nigerian government’s demand that the account of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, be blocked, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed disclosed on Tuesday.

Mohammed stated this when he featured on ‘Politics Nationwide,’ a Radio Nigeria call-in programme in Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The minister insisted that Twitter was suspended in Nigeria because the platform was being used to promote the views of those who wanted to destabilise the country.

Mohammed said that it was unfair to conclude that Twitter was suspended because it deleted a tweet posted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Twitter has become a platform of choice for a particular separatist promoter,” he said.

“The promoter consistently used the platform to direct his loyalists to kill Nigerian soldiers and policemen, run-down INEC offices and destroy all symbols of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

“Every attempt to persuade Twitter to deny its platform to this separatist leader was not taken serious.”

The minister added that the Nigerian government had no apology to offer to those who were unhappy with the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.

He argued that a country must exist in peace before citizens could exercise freedom of speech.

Speaking further, Mohammed blamed the violence and destruction of property recorded in parts of the country during the #EndSARS protests on Twitter and its founder, Jack Dorsey.

He alleged that Dorsey raised funds through bitcoins to sponsor the #EndSARS protest while his platform, Twitter, was used to fuel the crisis.

Mohammed quoted an unnamed online medium which he alleged indicted Dorsey for his role in the protest through its investigations and independent fact-checking.

The minister said the online publication confirmed that Dorsey retweeted posts made by some members of the coalition that supported the #EndSARS protest.

He said it was also confirmed that the Twitter founder launched a fundraising campaign for the protesters and asked people to donate through bitcoins.

The minister said Dorsey further launched an Emoji to make the #EndSARS protest visible on the microblogging site.

He further alleged that Dorsey retweeted the tweets of some foreign and local supporters of #EndSARS.

“If you ask people to donate money via bitcoins for #EndSARS protesters then you are vicariously liable for whatever is the outcome of the protest.

“We have forgotten that #EndSARS led to the loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.

“One hundred and sixty-four police vehicles and 134 police stations were razed to the ground, 265 private corporate organisations were looted while 243 public property were looted.

“Eighty-one warehouses were looted while over 200 brand new buses bought by Lagos State Government were burnt to ashes,’’ the minister added.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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