African Hqtrs: Twitter Chose Ghana Due To Unpatriotic Nigerians And Media, Says Lai Mohammed
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has blamed unpatriotic Nigerians and the media for being the reason why social networking service, Twitter, decided to make Ghana its African headquarters.
It would be called that Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, revealed on Monday that the company’s African base would be in Ghana.
Addressing why it decided to set up in Ghana, the company hailed the country as a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the open internet.
Twitter also said it was swayed by the country’s significant involvement in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), as the trade agreement aligns with its overarching goal to improve and tailor its service across Africa.
Since the announcement, there have been reactions from many Nigerians who feel Twitter’s African headquarters should be located in Nigeria, considering the millions of Nigerians who use the social media service.
However, reacting in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, the minister blamed unpatriotic Nigerians for Twitter’s decision to choose Ghana instead, saying;
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.
Continuing, Mohammed blamed Nigerians for projecting the image of the country negatively on social media platforms including Twitter, especially during the #EndSARS protests last October. The nationwide protest started on Twitter before physical mobilisation on the streets.
He further blamed the media for championing the course of devaluing Nigeria by fervently putting out negative reports and painting the country as a hell on earth.
The media is more to blame for this which most times exaggerate the challenges in the country. At no time was this worse than during the #EndSARS protest when Nigerian journalists both traditional and new media were trying to outdo themselves in painting Nigeria as a hell where nobody should live.
The minister added;
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 criticise 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.
He then urged Nigerians to be more patriotic, stressing that the continuous push to put the nation in a bad light has now cost a great opportunity that would have benefitted the youths and the nation at large.