Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday said that unfair criticism of the Nigerian government by Nigerians caused Twitter to locate its headquarters in Ghana instead of Nigeria.
Co-founder of the social networking service, Jack Dorsey, on Monday announced that Twitter had finally decided to set up an office in Africa and in Ghana specifically.
The news has elicited different reactions both from the major opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party and many other citizens, who argued that Twitter chose Ghana over Nigeria due to President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress misrule.
But responding to the development during an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Mohammed said, “The natural expectation would have been for Nigeria to be the hub for Twitter especially in this part of Africa, even with the fact that we have 25.4 million Twitter users in Nigeria, against eight million users in Accra. So, clearly, the decision was not a commercial and a business one.
“But I think Twitter has the prerogative and the exclusive right as to where to site its headquarters. But I hope that this will serve as a lesson to Nigerians.”
According to the minister, Nigerians’ portrayal of the country’s image negatively on social media platforms including Twitter, especially during the #EndSARS protests, last October may have informed Twitter’s decision.
Mohammed went further to say, “The reasons cited by Twitter for citing the headquarters in Accra, Ghana is that Accra is a champion of democracy and there is rule of law in Accra, among other reasons.
This is what you get when you de-market your own country. This will teach a lot of us a lesson that we have no country other than Nigeria.
“We are not saying that you should not criticise the country but be fair and patriotic. When you destroy your own house, where are you going to live?
“You can imagine the kind of job opportunities that siting that headquarters in Nigeria would have created, the kind of visibility it would have given Nigeria but we destroyed it. It is what the insiders say about their country that the outsider will use to judge and condemn the country.”