Government, Twitter Silent As Ban Clocks Two Months


Government, Twitter Silent As Ban Clocks Two Months

There appears to be no truce yet between the Federal Government and management of popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter, over the latter’s ban in Nigeria. The ban enters its second month today.

The Federal Government had announced the suspension of Twitter operations in the country on June 4, after the social media giant deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari for “violation of the company’s abusive behaviour policy.”

By June 5, the suspension was effected by telecommunications companies as Nigerians woke up to a Twitter shutdown across all platforms.

This sparked serious row between the two entities, and impacted businesses, especially small and medium scale enterprises that continue to lose billions of naira daily to the suspension.

Three weeks after, on June 22, the President set up a committee consisting of five ministers to negotiate with Twitter.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was appointed as head of the committee, which included Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN); Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

With dark cloud surrounding the planned meeting as there has not been any form of communication to the public from either side, there is anxiety in the country that six weeks after the announced composition of a government delegation, there might be no meeting that would lead to a possible truce after all.

But a presidency source in one of the ministries said, yesterday, that the two sides are talking. “I can authoritatively inform you that right now, the two sides are communicating. It is not as quiet as you imagine. Of course, it might be off the radar for now, but they are in touch. As soon as they want anything in public, people will hear.”

However, response from Twitter on the matter was yet to come as at press time.
Meanwhile, as the public awaits a possible truce, losses to the Nigerian economy continue to soar.