Nigerian Government Vows To Shut Down Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Other Social Media Platforms

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Nigerian Government Vows To Shut Down Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Other Social Media Platforms

 

The Nigerian government has vowed to shut down all social media sites that allow provocative words or posts to be used to spread discord in the country.

 

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, revealed this before the Joint Committee on Information, Justice, and Communication of the House of Representatives on Tuesday in Abuja, while answering concerns about the ban on Twitter, a microblogging site.

He claimed that anyone who wish to destabilize and promote divisiveness in Nigeria can use Twitter’s platform.

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He stated, “First and foremost, we want Twitter to be registered in the country before they can operate.”

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“We sought to develop a channel of communication with Twitter, but they denied us,” the minister stated. We don’t know who they are. They are not registered, but we expect to be able to engage them,” he said, lamenting the fact that the organization had no investment in Nigeria, but rather in Ghana, despite the fact that Nigeria was the target market.

The minister also refuted popular belief that the action was intended to suppress free expression and the press.

“The federal government had no intention of suppressing free expression in the country. The only reason we took Twitter down was because it was creating division. Its activities are harmful to the country’s cohesiveness, according to Mohammed.

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He added that if other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google Hangout, and others are found to be encouraging posts or utterances that could destabilize the country, the government will not hesitate to suspend them.

When the Convener of the Coalition in Defense of Nigerian Democracy, Ariyo Dare Atoye, who was present at the hearing, raised his hand to speak, the Chairman of the Committee, Olusegun Odebunmi, ruled him out of order and shut him down.

Only the minister would be authorized to make a presentation, according to Odebunmi.

Ariyo stated that he was a Nigerian and a Twitter user, and that the committee chairman was incorrect in ruling him out of order.

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The activist went on to say that the National Assembly is for all Nigerians, and that he was there to see the investigation and ask questions as a Nigerian.

He claimed that the minister’s presentation was incorrect, and that when he was in opposition, he defended the necessity for Nigeria to have independent media.

He was perplexed as to how the same person could transform overnight into a proponent of social media regulation.

Meanwhile, several committee members raised alarm over the executive’s move to ban Twitter, claiming that the country was on the verge of dictatorship.

 

Nigerian Government Vows To Shut Down Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Other Social Media Platforms

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