Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has blamed the behaviour of some Nigerians for the decision of Twitter to snub the country and choose Ghana as its African headquarters.
Mohammed on Thursday during a chat with newsmen in Abuja said there is no way you devalue what you have and then expect others to embrace it.
He said that while Twitter reserves the full right to choose any destination to cite its business, it remains clear that the decision of the social networking giants is not a commercial or business decision.
The Minister added that he hopes Twitter’s decision will serve as a lesson to Nigerians who have the habit of projecting the negative image of the country on social media.
It will be recalled that Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, on Monday said the company has chosen to set up its African office in Ghana.
Explaining the choice, Dorsey noted among other reasons that Ghana is a champion of democracy.
However, racting to the decision on Thursday, Minister Mohammed blamed those he described as unpatriotic Nigerians whom he accused of painting the country in a bad light during last year’s #EndSARS protest for demarketing the country.
He 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 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.”
“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 than Nigeria.”
“We are not saying that you should not criticize 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.”