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June 20, 2021
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Breaking: FG Gives Condition For Lifting Suspension Of Twitter Operations

…Says Talks Underway With Twitter Over Ban

…US, UK, EU Envoys Insist Twitter Ban Violates Freedom Of Expression

The federal government has given a condition to lift its indefinite suspension on Twitter in Nigeria.

Recall that Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, made this known to newsmen at a meeting with some envoys on Monday.

Onyeama said that Twitter’s operations in Nigeria will be restored only if the platform can be used “responsibly.”

He further noted that the federal government never said Twitter is threatening the country, adding that the suspension of the platform was a measure taken to stop it from being used to destabilize the country.

Onyeama, however, noted that there is no definite timeline for lifting the ban.

“We are not saying that Twitter is threatening the country or any such thing.

‘why we have taken this measure is to stop them to be used as platforms for destabilization and facilitation of criminality or encouragement of criminalities,” he said.

He also said it is in discussions with Twitter after it suspended the social media giant’s operations in the country, foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama told reporters Monday.

“There are discussions ongoing with Twitter, we will see how that progresses, so I cannot say for now the duration of the suspension,” Onyeama said after a meeting with diplomats on the issue.

Recall that Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed earlier announced that Twitter has been banned from carrying out its operations in Nigeria.

He said the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence was the reason for the suspension.

Meanwhile, the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the Republic of Ireland and the European Union in Nigeria, on Monday, insisted that the suspension of Twitter in the West African nation is a violation of freedom of expression.

“The diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America convey our disappointment over the Government of Nigeria’s announcement suspending #Twitter and proposing registration requirements for other social media.

“We strongly support the fundamental human right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline.

“Banning systems of expression is not the answer. These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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