Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said the twitter ban in the West african country will be lifted only if the social media giant complies with a number of conditions.
Buhari made the remarks during a televised speech on Frida while commemorating Nigeria’s Independence Day. He said Twitter had reached out to the government in an effort to resolve the ban which came to effect in June this year.
He said the presidential committee had engaged with Twitter on a number of issues including “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 continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements,” Buhari said.
Buhari recognized the role of social media in his speech.
“It 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,” he said, without any direct reference to any particular platform.
“Some users have “misused the platform to organize, coordinate, and execute criminal activities, propagate fake news, and promote ethnic and religious sentiments.” he added, without mentioning a specific platform.
Nigeria suspended Twitter after the social network removed a tweet from the President. Following the ban, a number of internet providers blocked Twitter access to users.
Twitter had written to the Nigerian President seeking dialogue after the network was suspended. The president put together a team to lead in the reconciliatory discussion.
The Nigerian government set a condition requiring Twitter to register formally in the country before being allowed to operate. According to Mohammed, Twitter was planning to set up a regional office in the neighbouring Ghana, even though Nigeria was their target market.
He said Twitter had agreed to this but was saying it could not do so until 2022.