The federal government has accused twitter founder, Mr. Jack Dorsey, of helping to fund last October’s #EndSARS protest.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while briefing State House Correspondents after a Federal Executive Council meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said Twitter failed to take down tweets by the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to use the platform to call for the killing of Nigeria policemen despite repeated appeals.
He also said Twitter had reached out to the federal government for talks on resolving the issues that led to the suspension of its operations in Nigeria.
Mohammed listed conditions that must be met even if there is a discussion with Twitter to include that it must now be registered in Nigeria as a business concern.
He stated further that apart from Twitter, he said other social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram must now be registered in the Country.
He said: “So, whether he donated money himself or helped to raise money, the Twitter owner is one of those who helped to fund the #EndSARS protests that were later hijacked leading to loss of lives and massive destruction of property.
“Like I said last Wednesday, you can see from the fact-checking, the role of Jack Dorsey is suspect. His interest in Nigeria is inimical to our growth.
“Our decision to suspend Twitter has been lauded by some, it has been decried by some. But we want to make it clear that what is important to us is the sovereignty of Nigeria.
He said: “Yes, it is true they’ve made, reached…only this morning I got, you know, communication that yes, they are now ready to hold senior-level discussions with us. Just now, I just confirmed with my colleague now. Yes, we just got the information now.“
Asked whether the government will hold the discussion with Twitter, Mohammed replied: “Why not? We will. But our conditions are already laid out to you. One, to do business in Nigeria, they must register as a Nigerian company. Two, they must be licensed and three, they will have to refrain from using the platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria, to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“From there, any other issue can come up. We already talked to them.”
He explained that the microblogging platform was suspended because it provided an avenue for people threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Recall that the federal government suspended twitter after accusing the company of making its platform available to those who are threatening Nigeria’s corporate existence.
But the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has urged Nigeria to immediately reverse the suspension of Twitter, saying it is tantamount to opposing free speech.