Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has blamed the “media and unpatriotic Nigerians” over Twitter’s choice of Ghana as its headquarters in Africa.
On Monday, the Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, had announced that the microblogging platform will set up its African headquarters in Ghana.
The announcement had generated reactions from Nigerians on Twitter while the main opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), blamed President Muhammdu Buhari’s administration and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the decision.
But in an interview on Thursday in Abuja, Mohammed said the development would serve as a lesson for Nigerians to be patriotic in managing the image of the country.
The minister said it was expected that the microblogging platform would site its headquarters in Nigeria with about 25 million Twitter users against Ghana’s eight million users.
He said: “The reasons cited by Twitter for siting the headquarters in Accra, Ghana is that Accra is a champion of democracy and there is rule of law in the country, among other reasons. This is what you get when you de-market your country.
“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.
“When they all conspired to vilify not just the government but the people of 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 generated, 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.”
The minister added that the development would serve as a lesson for people to be patriotic and manage the image of the country better.