On Jun 5th, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari blocked access to Twitter’s services in Africa’s most populous country, saying the platform. was being used to ‘harm’ and ‘attack’ the government. Information Minister Lai Mohammed said in August the government and the company were close to an agreement on Twitter resuming operations in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari during his televised broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary ordered a ban on Twitter to be lifted on the condition that the social media platform is used for “business and positive engagements.
“Social media is a very useful platform that has enabled millions of Nigerians to connect with loved ones, promote their businesses, socialize, and access news and other information. However, recent events have shown that the platform is not just an innocuous platform for information dissemination. Rather some users have misused the platform to organize, coordinate, and execute criminal activities, propagate fake news, and promote ethnic and religious sentiments. To address these negative trends, the Federal Government of Nigeria suspended the operations of Twitter in Nigeria on June 5, 2021, to allow the Government to put measures in place to address these challenges. 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. The Committee, along with its Technical Team, has engaged with Twitter and has 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. As a country, we are committed to ensuring that digital companies use their platform to enhance the lives of our citizens, respect Nigeria’s sovereignty, cultural values and promote online safety.”While making his Independence Day speech, the President said on Social Media.
He listed the conditions to include the fact that Twitter must pay attention to national security and cohesion; registration, physical presence, and representation in Nigeria; dispute resolution, and local content.