Nigeria Edges Closer to Lifting Twitter Ban

Nigeria lifts Twitter ban

Nigeria's Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed appeared before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Information, Justice, and Communication to answer questions regarding the Twitter Ban (Photo courtesy)

Nigeria has announced plans to end its Twitter ban soon. Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the country had resolved some differences with the social media platform, and could soon lift the ban which was imposed on June 4.

“The ban on Twitter will soon be lifted as we are getting close to reaching full agreement,” Mohammed told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

“We have agreed on some areas. Hopefully in the next few days or weeks we will conclude.”

Nigeria suspended Twitter after the social network removed a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari. Following the ban, a number of internet providers blocked Twitter access to users.

Read: After Twitter, Nigeria Threatens to Suspend More Social Media Apps If they Promote Division

Twitter had written to the Nigerian President seeking dialogue after the network was suspended. The president put together a team to lead in the reconciliatory discussion.

The Nigerian government set a condition requiring Twitter to register formally in the country before being allowed to operate. According to Mohammed, Twitter was planning to set up a regional office in the neighbouring Ghana, even though Nigeria was their target market.

He said Twitter had agreed to this but was saying it could not do so until 2022.

Read also: Kenya Denies Involvement in Arrest, Deportation of Nigerian Separatist Leader Kanu

Mohammed had cited Twitter as one of the social networks that had enabled disunity by allowing inflammatory posts.

“We recently met with the Nigerian government to discuss why Twitter has been blocked and ways to resolve the matter. Our aim is to chart a path forward to the restoration of Twitter for everyone in Nigeria. We look forward to ongoing discussions with the Nigerian government and seeing the service restored very soon.” A Twitter spokesperson said.

A section of members of the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Information, Justice, and Communication had said that the move was meant to stifle free speech. They criticized the ban, saying the country was taking a step towards autocracy.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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