The Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed has gone on a visit to the United States to meet with top administrators of famous microblogging site, Twitter.
News Reporters had on Tuesday received a video sporting the minister and the Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Olusegun Adeyemi, in a Delta Airline leading to the US.
Twitter had on 5 June, 2021 been banned indefinitely by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government, prohibiting it from functioning in Nigeria following the social media platform deleted tweets published by President Buhari.
The president’s tweets, which several Nigerians found unpleasant, had cautioned the Southeastern people of Nigeria against secession plan, warning that he will handle them ‘according to the dialect they understand’. The President statements referenced the Nigeria Civil War of 1967 to 1970 in which about 2 million South-Easterners died of hunger.
But the Nigerian government argued that the ban was basically founded on “a litany of issues with the said platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and false news spread through it have had real life destructive implications.”
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The FG also indicted Twitter of endangering the corporate unity of Nigeria.
‘See how Lai Mohammed is attempting to hide with a face cap, he flew on seat 8A in the business class category of Delta Airline from Lagos to New York,’ said a source who disclosed the destination and mission of the government team.
‘Mohammed flew with Olusegun Adeyemi, his Special Assistant who occupied seat 8C in the business division too.’
The new development comes subsequent to news briefing by Mohammed last Wednesday that the ban on Twitter would lift soon after settling some of its disagreements with the microblogging site, giving a sign to the end of a scheme largely criticized as an insult to liberty of expression.
Twitter’s ban attracted criticism of the British and Canadian missions in Nigeria, Amnesty International and the Swedish Embassy .
Also, local organisations like the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project [SERAP] have disputed the ban in court.
Unfortunately, still many Nigerians have circumvented the ban by utilizing the Virtual Private Network [VPN], the already decayed economy of the country forfeits a lot on daily basis to the prohibition.
As at 6 August, for instance, a British firm, Top10VPN rated that the embargo had negatively affected about 104.4 million the platform users in Nigeria, and that Nigeria has lost about $366.9 million. The company made the analyses using a device developed by internet management watchdog organisation.