Twitter boss ‘liable’ for #EndSars losses – minister
Written by Femi Akintola on June 15, 2021
Nigeria’s government holds Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey indirectly liable for the losses the country suffered during the EndSars protest, the country’s information minister has told a call-in programme.
Mr Dorsey and the social media firm have not yet responded to the allegations.
Tens of thousands of Nigerians took to the streets last October in protests against police brutality.
They became known as the EndSars demonstrations as they were sparked after a video went viral of a man allegedly being killed by the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sar).
Information Minister Lai Mohammed alleged Mr Dorsey had launched a fund for the protests, asking people to donate via Bitcoin.
Twitter had further fuelled the crisis by launching an EndSars emoji, he alleged.
“If you ask people to donate money via Bitcoin for EndSars protesters then you are vicariously liable for whatever is the outcome of the protest,” the News Agency of Nigeria quotes the minister as saying.
“We have forgotten that EndSars led to loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.”
He went on to list the property destroyed as:
- 164 police vehicles
- 134 police stations burnt
- 265 private firms looted
- 243 public properties looted
- 81 warehouses looted
- More than 200 new buses bought by the Lagos State government burnt.
Twitter is in discussions with the government after it was banned Nigeria on 4 June – this followed its deletion of a tweet by President Mohammadu Buhari which had breached the site’s rules.
Mr Mohammed reportedly told the Politics Nationwide phone-in show that he had no apology to offer to those unhappy over the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.