Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has blamed Nigerians for Twitter’s decision to host its Africa headquarters in Accra, Ghana. Lai said that Nigeria lost out because Nigerians de-marketed the country.
Speaking to the media, in a video released on Thursday by the official Twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, he said: “The pasttime of most Nigerians, especially the media, is to find fault and most times exaggerate the challenges the country is facing and at no time was this better said as during the EndSARS protests where Nigerian journalists, both tradition and new media, were trying to outdo themselves in painting Nigeria as a hell where nobody should live.”
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He towed an argument similar to that of Sterling Bank CEO, Abubakar Suleiman, who had questioned why Nigerians were surprised when they referred to their country as a zoo.
Lai called for patriotism and fair criticism from Nigerians, saying: “When you destroy your own house, where are you going to live? You can imagine the job opportunities that citing that headquarters in Nigeria would have created.
“You can imagine the kind of visibility it would have given Nigeria but we destroyed it. And don’t forget that it is what the insiders say that the outsiders would use to judge you or condemn us. This is a good example that Nigerians should learn better to manage the image of the country.”
He said Twitter’s decision to site its Africa headquarters in Accra, Ghana, was not a commercial or business one. He noted that Nigeria has about 25 million Twitter users as against Ghana’s 8 million. He expressed hopes that Nigeria losing out on having Twitter’s headquarters would serve as a lesson to Nigerians.
“This is what you get when you demarket your own country. Where they all conspired to vilify, not just the government but the people of Nigeria,” he said.
“And I thank God that the last US report has vindicated the government that no single life… there is no corroboration or evidence that anybody was killed at the Lekki Toll Gate as opposed to majority of the media actually presented. I think this would teach all of us a lesson that we have no country but Nigeria.
Honorable Minister of Information & Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed reacts to Twitter’s choice of Ghana over Nigeria in citing the company’s continental headquarters. /1 pic.twitter.com/lDucwJEZgs
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) April 15, 2021
Explaining its choice of Ghana, Twitter had said: “As a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate.
“Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.”
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