Nigerian government gives condition for lifting Twitter ban

THE Nigerian government has said it will lift the current ban on Twitter if only the platform can be used responsibly.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama gave the condition in a meeting with envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union in Nigeria on Monday.

Onyeama noted that the micro-blogging platform was not taken down because it was threatening the country, but the ban was meant to stop Twitter from being used for criminal activities.


Twitter ban: Adeboye tweets, says action covered by UN Charter on Human Rights

Hope rises for PIB as Lawan sets June deadline for passage

Buhari, Osinbajo, Malami, others run active Twitter accounts despite prosecution threat

“The condition would be responsible use of the social media and that really has to be it,” he said, when asked when the ban would be lifted.

“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 destabilisation and facilitation of criminality or encouragement of criminalities.”

The minister stressed that while the government would accommodate criticisms and diverse opinions, it would not sit back and watch social media become a tool to destabilise the country.

“Differences of opinion is not a problem; everybody will not think alike. But lives matter; Nigerian lives matter and we have to do everything we can to preserve Nigerian lives. And when we feel our goals are threatened, actions need to be taken.”



    The envoys had, in a joint statement on Saturday, condemned the ban on Twitter by the Nigerian government. They also decried the move by President Buhari’s administration to gag free speech which, according to them, was not associated with democratic governance.

    While pledging to continually support Nigeria in achieving unity, peace and prosperity, the envoys noted that the ban was coming at a critical time when Nigeria needed to accommodate more communication to address a host of challenges facing it as a nation.

    Minister of Culture and Information Lai Mohammed had announced the ban in a statement on Friday shortly after the platform deleted a controversial and violent tweet by President Buhari.

    On Saturday, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) announced, in a statement on Saturday, that it had complied with the government directives. However, millions of Nigerians have continued to use the platform through Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement


    - Advertisement