Twitter ban to end ‘very soon’, FG assures

The Federal Government has said that it was ‘very close’ to resolving the disagreement that led to the ban of the operation of the micro-blogging site, Twitter, in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who had on August 11 assured that the Twitter ban would be lifted soon, restated his assurance at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, (FEC), meeting presided over by President Buhari, yesterday.

Recall that the Federal Government had on June 5 put an indefinite ban on Twitter, restricting it from operating in Nigeria after the social media platform deleted tweets made by President Buhari warning the people of the South-East of a potential repeat of the 1967 Biafran Civil War due to the security crisis on that rejoin.

The Buhari-led administration had claimed that the deletion of the president’s tweets factored into their decision, but that it was ultimately based on a ‘litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real-world violent consequences’.

The ban, which attracted condemnations from various quarters, including Amnesty International, British and Canadian missions and the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria as well as Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP), and the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), is said to cost Nigeria $250,000 (N102.5 million), each hour of the suspension bringing the daily loss to N2.46 billion, according to NetBlocks.

The minister, who was asked to give an update on the Twitter ban in Nigeria and the interface with the company told State House Correspondents, amongst others, that “what we’re trying to do is the changes that have been going on, but we need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s; but I can assure us that we’re not mindful of the anxiety of Nigerians and both parties are working very hard to put a closure on the matter”.

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