Again, FG says end of Twitter ban ‘very close’

2 months ago 34

About 100 days after the federal government slammed a suspension on Twitter, it has again said that the microblogging site would soon be allowed to resume its activities in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this while answering questions from correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

According to him, reaching a resolution with Twitter on areas of disagreement is now very close.

Recall that the federal government had placed a ban on Twitter after the site deleted President Buhari’s tweet on the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

The Minister had in August told correspondents that the site was just a few days away from being let back to work in the country.

According to him at the time, the conditions given by the federal government for Twitter operations to resume in Nigeria include that the site should establish a legal presence in the country, register as a Nigerian company with an address.

Asked to give an update on the Twitter ban in Nigeria and the interface with the company on Wednesday, he said: “The end for amicable resolution is very much in sight.”

Mohammed added: “We appreciate the patience of Nigerians. I want to assure you that we have made very tremendous progress. We have met with Twitter both physically and in writing. We are actually almost there

“The engagement has been extremely positive without any acrimony. We have made it clear what we want from Twitter.”

Responding to the question, he said, “I think even Twitter itself two days ago gave what I will call a progress report on our talks with them. And I think if I want to quote them rightly, it has been productive and quite respectful.

“And as to how soon is soon, right? I want to assure you that between the time that Twitter operation has been suspended, and when it will be restored is by far, much, much shorter. That I can assure you that it is by far. In other words, if the operation has been suspended for about 100 days now, I can tell (you) that we’re just actually talking about a few, just a few more days now.

“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.

“And like Twitter itself said the changes have been very, very productive on both parties. It has not been advisory at all. And it’s quite respectful. Thank you very much.”

Asked further to be specific on when the matter would be resolved, he said, “Honestly, we have gone very far, I won’t be specific but we have gone very far, and honestly, it’s just going to be very, very soon, just take my word for that.”

Further pressed to be specific, he said, “Honestly, I can’t be more specific than what I’ve told you that it is going to be very soon. Thank you.”

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