Twitter writes FG over suspension, seeks dialogue

…’Platform refused FG’s request to delete Nnamdi Kanu’s account’ – Lai Moh’d

The Federal Government yesterday confirmed that Twitter has formally written to it, seeking for a dialogue on issues leading to the indefinite suspension of its operations in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, confirmed this when he featured on a radio programme in Abuja.

The minister reiterated the government’s position that it would not tolerate any platform that would be used to destabilise the country.

Mohammed said among other conditions for Twitter to resume operation in Nigeria, there must be an agreement as to what contents it could post.

He said Twitter and other platforms must also register as a Nigerian company, obtain license from the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), and be guided by the rules of the licensing as well as pay taxes.

According to the minister, regulation of social media platforms is becoming a global practice, adding that most countries were just waking up to the fact that the platforms were becoming more powerful than even government and needed to be regulated.

Mohammed noted that regulation of social media was not synonymous with stifling press freedom, saying, “We must not confuse press freedom with irresponsibility”.

Recall that the Federal Government, on June 4, suspended indefinitely the operations of the micro-blogging and social networking service in Nigeria.

Also, the Minister said that Twitter rejected its demand to delete the account of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Lai Mohammed said it was unfair to conclude that Twitter was suspended in the country because President Muhammadu Buhari’s message was deleted.

He accused Twitter of consistently offering its platform to promote agendas that were inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria, adding that the Government was unambiguous that the action was taken because the platform was being used to promote the views of those who wanted to destabilise the clime.

Recall that Twitter had last week deleted a tweet by the IPOB leader, who had vowed that any soldier sent to the Southeast by the Nigerian Government will die.

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