Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, confirmed that Twitter has formally written to the Nigerian government to seek dialogue to resolve the suspension of the microblogging platform.
Mohammed said this during a “Politics Nationwide” call-in programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NANS) in Abuja.
The minister said the Nigerian government would not allow any platform to destabilise the country with its operations.
He reiterated that the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria was a means to curb war as the platform was used by different people to instill war across the country.
According to him, the decision was part of the efforts of the Nigerian government to curb people from using social media to promote conflicts in Nigeria.
“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.