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President Buhari Approves Lifting Ban On Twitter After 7 Months Of Suspension

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#TwitterBan: Federal Government, Twitter In Talks

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the lifting of the suspension of the Twitter operation in Nigeria.

The lifting will be effective from 12am tonight January 13, 2022, according to a statement by Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE.

Recall that on June 4, Federal Government announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operation following the deleting of tweets made by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had threatened to treat members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the “language they understand”.

However, the federal government attributed the suspension to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

Amid nationwide and international criticism, FG in August said it had made “tremendous progress” in resolving the impasse following a series of meetings — and that an “an amicable solution is very much in sight”.

Then in September 2021, Information Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said “correspondence between us and Twitter had reached an advanced stage”.

Mohammed noted;

We have a few more issues to resolve. Out of about 12 conditions, Twitter has been able to meet 10. Very soon, all issues will be resolved in a way that will be good for both our country and Twitter.

Giving an update on the over 7-month ban on Wednesday in Abuja, Kashifu noted the approval was given following a memo written to Buhari by his Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.

He said;

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12am tonight, 13th January 2022.

The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim

He further stated;

In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.


Since the suspension, millions of Twitter users have been unable to use the social media platform in Nigeria, except by using a Virtual Private Network that connects them to the network of another country to access the app.

FG’s suspension of the app attracted criticism from various quarters including US department of state, Amnesty International, British and Canadian missions, and the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria.

The decision to suspend the ban means the tech giant has agreed to the terms and conditions of the Federal Government.

However, Twitter is yet to release a statement regarding its engagement with Nigerian government.

 

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