Twitter Ban – The Nigerian Government has given a condition in which it will revoke Twitter Ban. The minister
of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this at a meeting with some envoys. He said the
social media platform’s operations in Nigeria would commence again if the citizens would
“responsibly” use it.
The envoys had issued a joint statement on Saturday regarding the Twitter ban; a section of the
statement read: “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.” In response to
this, the Nigerian Government invited them to a meeting. According to Onyeama, the
comments of the envoys were taken “very seriously,” which is why the Government decided to
discuss the matter in the “usual friendly way.”
The envoys, which include teams from the European Union, UK, US, Canada, and all those who
decried the indefinite Twitter ban by the (despite the Government’s stand that Twitter is a tool
which is used to challenge the existence of the nation), they were all present at the closed-door
deliberations. The minister said both parties had a successful negotiation on the issue.
However, talking about the duration of the ban, Mr. Onyeama said: “The condition would be
responsible use of the social media, and that really has to be it;” hence there is no timeline set
as of yet.
IS THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT RENEGING ON TWITTER BAN?
Countering the argument that the Twitter ban is linked to the platform’s action against
President Mohammadu Buhari concerning his tweet last week, which the organisation deleted
alleging that it violated its guidelines, the minister affirmed that the Government’s action is to
protect the nation.
He said the Buhari-led administration focuses on its principal objective and legacy, which is the
security of lives and property. According to him, the Nigerian Government will not stand by and
watch while social media is used as a tool to “destabilize” the country. “We want to use social
media for good, 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;”
“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. Differences of opinion is not a problem;
everybody will not think alike.”