EndSars Protest: Lai Mohammed Picks On Canada's 'Double Standard'

Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has called out Canada's double standard in the truckers' protest against the COVID-19 restriction.

Mohammed says Canada's reaction towards the protest shows they don't encourage violent protest.

Truckers had blocked the US-Canada border in a demonstration tagged "Freedom Convoy".

The protest started on 9 January over a new rule stipulating that all truckers must be vaccinated.

In the middle, the protesters demanded to end all such mandates across the country while opposing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

In the parliament, Trudeau said this has to "stop."

Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

During a press briefing, Lai Mohammed teased the Canadian government for branding the truckers as insurrectionists while supporting the #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria.

He described the move as "double standards."

"Don't misunderstand this intervention. We are not gloating over the unfortunate development in Canada. But we are only calling attention to the double standard involved in the way protesters deemed to be violent are perceived in Nigeria and in the West.

"We have always said that you must have a country before you can even enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by your country's constitution. If there is no Nigeria, no one will be talking of freedom of expression or freedom of association and the like."

Mohammed also took a swipe at Twitter for its roles during the EndSARS protest in Nigeria.

The government official claimed Twitter helped Nigerian protesters to raise funds has now distanced itself from the truckers.

"Recall also that Twitter actively supported the #EndSars protesters and even helped them to raise funds while GoFundMe was used to raise funds for the protests," he said.

"These are the same entities that are now rushing to distance themselves from the protesters in Canada and even denying them the use of their platforms," the Minister said.

He added, "This realization explains why every country goes the extra mile to protect and preserve itself. And this also explains why we have continued to insist on the regulation of social media to ensure responsible content. In this area, I can confidently say we are far ahead of most countries in the world, who have now realized that social media must be regulated in the interest of their own people.

"In this regard, our successful negotiation with Twitter to fashion out measures to ensure responsible use of that platform which, by the way, will also apply to other social media platforms, has made us a global trailblazer in efforts to prevent harmful content from social media platforms.

"Gentlemen, we must not allow anyone to destroy our country under the guise of protest or unbridled freedoms. We all must put Nigeria first at all times."

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