…says ‘they’re hypocrites’
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday, lambasted the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and other countries that criticised the suspension of social media giant, Twitter.
The minister, who described the countries as hypocrites, said their criticisms were purely based on economic reasons rather than any love for Nigeria.
He stated this while featuring on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Friday.
Mohammed said both the EU and the UK were already working on social media regulations and wondered why Nigeria was being accused of stifling free speech.
He added, “The EU has recommended the same thing and Britain only on Wednesday spoke about a law that would regulate the social media. This is why I say they are being hypocritical. Like I said, I don’t like commenting on issues that have to do with relations with Nigeria and other countries but clearly speaking, they are being less than honest.”
The Minister said the Federal Government had constantly reached out to Twitter to bring down divisive comments like those of separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who was fond of calling Nigeria a zoo.
He, however, said the social media platform never responded, asking Nigerians not to be deceived by foreign missions condemning the suspension of Twitter.
The Minister added, “We have seen so many foreign missions come up to condemn the action of Nigeria. Nigerians, please, make a distinction between countries that are trying to protect their economic and commercial interests from those countries that genuinely love you and talking about freedom of speech and don’t forget for one minute that it is because there is a country called Nigeria that there is freedom of speech.”
He maintained that the Federal Government did not suspend Twitter because it deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, which many found repugnant.
On the issue of Nigerians losing money to the Twitter suspension, Mohammed downplayed the complaints, saying that the Nigerian government was not generating any money in tax from the social media platform.
He said Nigerians must note that it is only when there is peace that business can take place.