Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has said that the Buhari dictatorship will not rest until it regulates social media in line with its dictatorial and repressive policies.
This comes after online news site SaharaReporters exposed how the controversial minister sneaked out of Nigeria to the United States where he travelled with his media aide to hold a meeting with popular microblogging site Twitter.
Lai Mohammed, who was determined to shield the trip from the eyes of the media, got visibly incensed upon learning that it had been exposed and he subsequently vowed that “we will not rest until we regulate social media.”
Speaking in Abuja last week, Lai Mohammed had said that the Buhari dictatorship would soon lift the ban on Twitter, claiming that the microblogging site had agreed to the terms and conditions of the Buhari dictatorship.
However, the minister’s trip to the United States to meet with the organisation is a testimony that he was economical with the truth last week and has now vowed to regulate social media in utter violation of the constitutional right to freedom expression.
Recall that on Friday, June 4, 2021, the Buhari dictatorship announced that it had banned Twitter operations in Nigeria but without a court order to justify the ban in recognition of the democratic process in the country. The illegal ban followed the deletion of a Tweet by the Nigerian tyrant Muhammadu Buhari.
In the tweet deleted by Twitter, Buhari had threatened to unleash another Civil War against Nigerians of the South-East, a war similar to the one which the dictator participated in between 1967 and 1970. It is estimated that 3 million people, mostly women and children of Igbo origin, died during the war as a result of starvation.
In his tweet, dictator Buhari had threatened the people saying in part, “We’ll treat them in a language they understand,” sparking outrage from Nigerians who massively reported his account, with Twitter responding by deleting the offending part of the tweet, saying that it was in violation of the organisation’s policies.
Using his dictatorial powers, Buhari responded by placing an illegal ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria. He also ordered telecommunication companies in the country to block access to Twitter even without the backing of a court ruling.
The illegal ban on Twitter attracted several lawsuits from Nigerians, civil society organisations, activists and lawyers who tried to resist the Buhari tyranny.
Secio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project [SERAP] and 176 Concerned Nigerians also sued the Buhari dictatorship at the ECOWAS Court of Justice asking the regional court to declare the ban illegal and an outright violation of the fundamental rights of Nigerians. The group also asked the court to restrain the Buhari dictatorship from arresting Nigerians on the basis of their continuous use of Twitter.
Despite the illegal ban being in force, Nigerians bypassed it and have since been accessing the site via Virtual Private Network [VPN], making the illegal ban useless.