ABUJA- THE Federal Government of Nigeria through it’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,has urged Nigerians to build a microblogging platform that will replace the banned Twitter or at least give it a firm challenge.
He said this on Wednesday while defending the reason the federal government placed a temporary ban ‘t on Twitter, before the House of Representatives Committee.
It was the ministry headed by Mohammed that announced the ban, while the Minister himself has also been the most ardent supporter of the government’s decision despite criticism by the youth.
At the panel on Wednesday, Mohammed said: “I think this is a very good opportunity for our very resourceful Nigerians to also look at how they can have an app that can replace Twitter.
“And this app will be patronized by all of us. We have received a few approaches and we want to encourage them.”
Since the government instructed telecoms firms to block users’ access to Twitter on June 5, many Nigerians have been bypassing the restriction by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Mohammed however made efforts to discourage Nigerians from using VPNs, pointing out the consequences.
“My advice to anybody using VPN is to stop it because it exposes your entire data, including your bank account,” the minister noted.
“So, if you are using VPN and you think you are hurting Lai Mohammed, you are hurting yourself.”
To enforce the compliance of the Twitter ban, Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, had also ordered the prosecution of any Nigerian caught using Twitter.