Buhari lists conditions for lifting Twitter ban

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has given conditions before lifting the ban placed on Twitter in the country.

Buhari listed the conditions during his broadcast to the nation on the occasion of Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary on Friday.

He said the ban would be lifted for Nigerians to use, but Twitter must pay attention to national security and cohesion, registration, physical presence and representation in Nigeria, including dispute resolution and local content.

The president said the platform was suspended by his administration because it was being used by some Nigerians to organise, coordinate, and execute criminal activities, propagate fake news, and promote ethnic and religious sentiments.

“ Following the suspension of Twitter operations, Twitter Inc. reached out to the Federal Government of Nigeria to resolve the impasse. Subsequently, I constituted a Presidential Committee to engage Twitter to explore the possibility of resolving the issue,” he said.

“The Committee, along with its Technical Team, has engaged with Twitter and have addressed a number of key issues. These are National Security and Cohesion; Registration, Physical presence and Representation; Fair Taxation; Dispute Resolution; and Local Content.

“Following the extensive engagements, the issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens to continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements.”

Buhari said the country was committed to ensuring that digital companies used their platforms to enhance the lives of Nigerians and respect Nigeria’s sovereignty, cultural values and promote online safety.

The Nigerian government suspended Twitter’s operations earlier in June after the social media platform deleted a tweet by Buhari for breaching the site’s rules.

The Nigerian government under Buhari has never hidden its intention to regulate social media in the country. Twitter became the prime target when its CEO Jack Dorsey supported the #EndSARS protests against Police brutality in October 2020.



    There are hopes that the suspension will end as soon as Twitter meets the demands of the Nigerian authorities.

    Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said in August that a full agreement was in sight.

    “The ban on Twitter will soon be lifted as we are getting close to reaching full agreement,” Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters in Abuja on August 11.

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

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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