Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, said on Tuesday that Twitter has formally written to the Nigerian government to seek talks to fix the microblogging platform’s ban.
Mohammed made the remarks at a call-in program hosted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NANS) in Abuja called “Politics Nationwide.”
The Nigerian government, according to the minister, will not allow any platform to destabilize the country through its operations.
He emphasized that the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria was a means of preventing violence, as the platform has been utilized by many individuals to promote conflict throughout the country.
According to him, the decision was made as part of the Nigerian government’s attempt to prevent people from using social media to fuel strife in the country.
“I can confirm that Twitter has written the Federal Government that they are ready to talk. As we have always maintained, the door is not locked and we are open-minded but Twitter must work towards it.
“The suspension of Twitter is to ensure that no particular platform is used to cause war in Nigeria. Secondly, it is to ensure that whoever is making money in Nigeria must be made to pay tax.
“Our appeal to Nigerians is that they should understand where we are coming from,” he said.
Mohammed further stated that the decision to suspend Twitter by the Nigerian government was neither to deprive the people of the country of their rights nor rip them off their means of livelihood.
“Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey regulate the social media, Australia has done so. Even the EU that does not have particular laws on social media has made recommendations in a white paper.
“We must not confuse press freedom with irresponsibility. How can you stay in your country and allow your own platform to be used to propagate war in another country?
“We have no intention to stifle people’s freedom or to cut off the source of livelihood of anybody.
“There must be a country devoid of war before we can talk of freedom and a source of living,” he continued.