Lai Mohammed says this is what you get when you de-market your country
Nigeria's minister of information, Lai Mohammed, has blamed journalists and last year's #EndSARS protesters for Twitter's choice of Ghana as its headquarters in Africa.
Earlier in the week, the microblogging platform announced the decision to set up its Africa head office in Ghana.
The announcement has since generated reactions from Nigerians on social media.
The social networking service said its new team members would be working remotely under its work-from-home policies while it explores "the opportunity to open an office in Ghana in the future."
Amid reactions from Nigerians that the continent's biggest market was snubbed, Twitter said it chose Ghana because the West African country is a champion of democracy.
It said its decision was informed by Ghana's "support for free speech and online freedoms."
It added that Ghana's recent appointment to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) also influenced its decision.
However, in an interview on Thursday, Mr Mohammed registered his displeasure over the development, which he blamed on 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 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," he said.
"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 citing 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."