Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the Federal Government have no intention of banning any social media platform again but will not allow any platform to plunge Nigeria into crisis.
The minister said this on Thursday at the third edition of the “President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration (PMB) Scorecard 2015-2023” programme in Abuja.
According to NAN, the PMB Scorecard is an initiative of the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of the administration in the last seven years.
The edition featured Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, who reeled out several achievements of his ministry in the Buhari-led administration.
In his opening remarks, Mr Mohammed said the warning to the social media platforms became imperative because of the spike in fake news and disinformation following the acquisition of the micro-blogging site, Twitter by Elon Musk.
“Permit me to quickly address an issue that has elicited a lot of inquiries from the media in recent times.
“Many of your colleagues have called to ask us what will become of our agreement with Twitter in view of the change in its ownership.
“Many have asked for our reaction following reports that there has been a spike in fake news, disinformation and hate speech since the micro-blogging site changed ownership.
“Many have even asked us if another ban is in the offing. Let me say this: We are closely monitoring the evolving developments at Twitter.
“It has never been our intention to ban any social media platform or stifle free speech. Not at all.
“But we will also not sit by and allow any platform whatsoever to throw our nation into crisis,” he said.
The minister recalled how the Federal Government in June last year suspended the activities of Twitter in the country for allegedly allowing its platform to be used by those who wanted to destabilise the country.
However, after 222 days, the government announced the decision to lift the suspension in January earlier this year after Twitter agreed to regulate its posts, pay an applicable tax and establish a legal entity within the country among other conditions.
President Muhammadu Buhari reactivated his account on March 2.
According to the minister, he said “What happened in the case of Twitter is well known to all.
” Twitter became a platform of choice for those who want to destabilise Nigeria using fake news, disinformation and hate speech.
“No nation will allow any social media platform to plunge it into anarchy. Definitely not Nigeria.
“But we have continued to engage positively with the different social media platforms, including Facebook, Google (owners of YouTube) and Twitter.
“We have no intention of banning any social media platform again,” he said.
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