– Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information, has justified the ban imposed by the federal government on Twitter’s operations in Nigeria
– The minister argued that the microblogging site has become the communications tool of some secessionist groups
– The international community has faulted the government for restricting access to Twitter, saying such action violates freedom of speech
Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has stated that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, has made it clear that anybody who violates the Twitter ban including, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, will be prosecuted.
Mohammed, however, explained that Malami has the prerogative to decide who to prosecute for violating the ban.
The minister gave the explanation in an interview with BBC Africa Focus on Monday, June 7, when asked if Adeboye will be prosecuted for using Twitter.
‘’Well, the Attorney General has made it clear that if anybody violates the regulation that such a person will be prosecuted and this is not about any particular person…I think it is the realm of the attorney-general to decide who or who not to prosecute.’’
The minister of information advocates for regulation of social media
Mohammed also denied that the claim that he was hiding under the excuse of stopping the activities of secessionists who are fomenting trouble to regulate social media.
He said it is true that he has always been an advocate of regulating social media because of the harmful effect of fake news, adding that he is still of the same view that social media must be responsible.
Foreign envoys criticise the ban of Twitter in Nigeria
Meanwhile, following the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government, the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union in Nigeria among others, have expressed dismay over the action.
Channels TV reported that the envoys said the suspension of Twitter is a violation of the fundamental human right of freedom of expression.
The envoys urged the government to protect freedom of expression. The US ambassador to Nigeria, Mary-Beth Leonards, who spoke on behalf of others, said they were delighted to see Nigeria succeed, and that all challenges have solutions.