The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said Twitter and its founder, Jack Dorsey, are liable for the losses the country suffered during the EndSARS protest.
The Minister said this on Tuesday in Abuja, when he featured on “Politics Nationwide”, a Radio Nigeria call-in programme.
Mohammed alleged that Dorsey raised funds through Bitcoins to sponsor the EndSARS protest, while his platform, Twitter, was used to fuel the crisis.
He claimed that when he made the allegations earlier, Nigerians did not take him seriously until an online media outfit carried out an investigation and fact-checking.
Mohammed said the online publication confirmed that Dorsey retweeted some of the posts of coalitions that supported the EndSARS protest.
Also, he said it was confirmed that the Twitter founder launched fundraising and asked people to donate via Bitcoins, while he launched an Emoji to make the EndSARS protest visible on the microblogging site.
“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.
“164 police vehicles and 134 police stations were razed to the ground, 265 private corporate organisations were looted while 243 public property were looted. 81 warehouses were looted while over 200 brand new buses bought by Lagos State Government were burnt to ashes,’’ he said.
Mohammed maintained that it was unfair to conclude that the operation of Twitter was suspended indefinitely because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s message, saying the action was taken because the platform was being used to promote the views of those who wanted to destabilise the country.
“Twitter has become a platform of choice for a particular separatist promoter. 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 seriously,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the Federal Government has no apology to offer those unhappy over the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country, noting that a country must exist in peace before people can exercise freedom of speech, and fight for a source of livelihood.
By Victor Uzoho
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