June 25, 2021


Africa's Media Giant

Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is questionable, says FG

Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has condemned reaction of social media outfit, Twitter, to President Buhari’s series of tweets via his verified handle

By Ismaila Chafe

The Federal Government has condemned the reaction of social media outfit, Twitter, to President Muhammadu Buhari’s series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle @mbuhari.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Nigerian leader had on Tuesday via his Twitter handle warned that `rude shock awaits’ those unpatriotic elements promoting insurrection and burning critical national assets across the country.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,’’ the president stated via his twitter page.

Twitter, however, was reported to have deleted the tweet, stating: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules”.

Reacting to the development, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, accused Twitter of double standard, saying twitter had deliberately ignored inciting tweets by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and his cohorts.

The minister also accused twitter of displaying the same biases it did during the ENDSARS protest where government and private property were looted and set on fire, taming its human rights, while “it finds Buhari’s tweet offensive’’.

According to him, Twitter’s role is suspect and Nigeria will not be fooled.

He said: “Twitter may have its own rules; it’s not the universal rule. If Mr President, anywhere in the world feels very bad and concern about a situation, he is free to express such views.

“Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges. If an organisation is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed.

“Two, any organisation that gives directives to its members, to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centres, to kill warders, and you are now saying that Mr President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that? We are the ones guilty of double standards.

“I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, a person will stay somewhere outside Nigeria, and will direct his members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organisation has been proscribed.

“By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with.”

The minister, who briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), disclosed that the Council approved N5.6billion for the establishment of an oxygen production plant in each of the 36 States of the federation.

Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of his Ministry of Health counterpart, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said:

“The Minister of Health presented a memo, which was approved, for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of oxygen production plants and construction of plant houses in each of the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.

“The contract was approved in the sum of N5, 615, 127, 479 inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT, in favour of four different companies, with a completion period of 20 weeks.”

He said the approval was to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic, which had made oxygen a very critical commodity.

Mohammed also revealed that the council approved N1.1 billion for the procurement of aviation security uniforms and accessories for use in various airports across the country.

He said: “Minister of Aviation got approval for the award of a contract for direct procurement for the design, manufacture and supply of aviation security uniforms and accessories.

“The sum total is N1, 127, 945, 000 The unique thing about uniforms for the aviation industry is that it has some International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards that would be followed.”

He further disclosed that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs also got an approval of N864.7 million for two road contracts that were abandoned by previous administrations.

“The Minister of Niger Delta got approval for Okpula-Igwartanta Phase I linking Imo and Rivers State, started in 2010.

“He got an approval for a variation of N620, 763, 000. He also got approval for erosion flood control on Ndemili-Utagba-Onitsha road in Delta State, started in 2014.

“The council today approved N244 million to augment the original contract sum,” he added. (NAN)

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