Nigerian Government’s war against Twitter continued on Tuesday with an accusation that the United States (US) micro-blogging platform and its founder, Jack Dorsey, were “vicariously liable” for the losses Nigeria suffered during the #EndSARS protests in October last year.
It also accused Twitter of refusing its request to block the account of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed stated this when he featured on “Politics Nationwide,’’ a Radio Nigeria call-in programme.
Mohammed said government’s tough stance against Twitter was because Nigeria must exist in peace before people could exercise freedom of speech and fight for a source of livelihood.
He lamented that during the #EndSARS protests, 98 people, including 41 security operatives, lost their lives and properties worth billions of naira destroyed.
The minister alleged that Dorsey raised funds through Bitcoins to sponsor the #EndSARS protests while Twitter was used to fuel the crisis.
Mohammed stated that when he first made the allegations, Nigerians did not take him seriously until an online media outfit carried out an investigation and fact-checking.
The minister said the online publication confirmed that Dorsey retweeted some of the posts by some of the coalitions that supported the #EndSARS protests.
He added that it was confirmed that the Twitter founder launched a fundraising asking people to donate via Bitcoins.
The minister said Dorsey further launched Emoji to make the #EndSARS protests visible on the microblogging site.
He said Dorsey also retweeted the tweets of some foreign and local supporters of the #EndSARS.protests.
His words: “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 protested led to the loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.
“One hundred and sixty-four police vehicles and 134 police stations were razed to the ground; 265 private corporate organizations were looted while 243 public properties were looted.
“Eighty-one warehouses were looted while over 200 brand new buses bought by Lagos State Government were burnt to ashes.’’
The minister restated that it was unfair to conclude that Twitter was suspended indefinitely because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s message.
He said the government was unambiguous that the action was taken because the platform was being used to promote the views of those determined to destabilize Nigeria.
Mohammed added that Twitter consistently offered its platform to promote agenda that were inimical to the corporate existence of the country.
Mohammed added: “Twitter has become a platform of choice for a particular separatist promoter.