The federal government on Monday has given a fresh condition to lift its indefinite suspension on the micro-blogging site, Twitter in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government added that it is currently in discussion talks with the social network, Twitter over the possible suspension of the ban.
Recall that the Federal Government had on Friday ordered all Telecoms to block Nigerians from accessing Twitter.
The presidency in a statement disclosed that the “temporary suspension” of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is not only because Buhari’s post was deleted but part of efforts to prevent the “violent” consequences usually linked to the spread of fake news and misinformation.
But Twitter in a statement on Saturday promised to restore access to its platform to all Nigerians.
The tweet reads, “We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.
“We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world. #KeepitOn.”
Geoffrey Onyeama, Buhari’s minister of foreign affairs though confirmed to Journalists on Monday that discussions are going on between the federal government and Twitter, He however noted that he cannot ascertain the duration of the suspension.
In his statement, He said; There are discussions ongoing with Twitter, we will see how that progresses, so I cannot say for now the duration of the suspension,” Onyeama said
Onyeama equally disclosed the only condition to lift the suspension of Twitter at a stakeholders meeting on Monday.
Envoys of the US, UK, Canada and the European Union, all of whom had condemned the “indefinite” suspension of Twitter in Nigeria were present at the meeting
Onyeama noted that Twitter operations in Nigeria will be restored only if the platform can be used “responsibly.”
Asked when the ban will be lifted, Onyeama said there is no definite timeline for that, but added: “The condition would be responsible use of the social media and that really has to be it.”
“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,” he said.
“Lives matter; Nigerian lives matter and we have to do everything we can to preserve Nigerian lives. When we feel our goals are threatened, actions need to be taken.”he added
DAILY GIST reports that the federal is in fresh move to introduce an internet firewall to have a separate network for the Nigerian Internet that will give the government full control over social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
The new development as gathered by DAILY GIST is to block Nigerians that are still accessing Twitter through VPN and other means despite the federal government’s suspension.
According to a report by FIJ, The federal government has reached out to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) to discuss plans to build an internet firewall.
The internet firewall will also give the Nigerian government power to block VPN, which many Nigerians are using to access Twitter
The Nigerian government has in the past few years sought a way to control freedom of expression online.
The new federal government directive which will regulate the social media may be the beginning of what the government had planned to do over the years.