By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday said 476 online platforms have been established by traducers to bring down the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mohammed spoke at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos at the meeting of Information Managers of APC Government.
The minister did not explain further and did not also give the names of the online platforms established to bring down the government of Buhari.
Earlier, he had said that the suspension of Twitter’s operation in Nigeria was a very tough decision the Federal Government had to take.
He described the social media as a double-edged sword, providing opportunities and challenges perhaps in equal measure.
“For the information and communication manager, the so-called new media provides the ultimate test. As you all know, we recently had to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the threat posed by the gross abuse of the platform to the nation’s peace and unity.
“Twitter is the platform of choice for separatist campaigners, especially those of them residing outside the country, who use it to issue directives to their followers in Nigeria to attack our security forces as well as to burn police stations and INEC offices.
“It was a tough decision to take, considering that many of our youths also use the platform for business. Such is the challenge posed by the social media. At its request, the government has agreed to engage with Twitter and, hopefully, we can both chart a path forward, without compromising our national interest.
“While many have accused us of stifling the press with the ban, we say Twitter is just one of many social media platforms being used by Nigerians. WhatsApp, which is most used by Nigerians, is there. And there is Facebook, Instagram, Google hangout, etc,” he said.
Mohammed said leveraging the new information and digital technology would undoubtedly facilitate the work of government information and communication managers.
He stated that the multiplicity, immediacy and pervasiveness of the platforms of information dissemination meant that more people could be reached much faster.