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Buhari lists conditions for lifting Twitter suspension

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01 October 2021   |   6:16 am
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has said the suspension of the operations of Twitter in the country will only end if certain conditions are met. Buhari listed the conditions in his Independence Day speech on Friday. "I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens continue…

FILE – This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said the suspension of the operations of Twitter in the country will only end if certain conditions are met.

Buhari listed the conditions in his Independence Day speech on Friday.

“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 in his speech.

These conditions, the president said, include “national security and cohesion; registration physical presence and representation; fair taxation; aispute resolution; and local content.”

The Nigerian government suspended Twitter’s operations earlier in June after the social media platform deleted a tweet by Buhari for breaching the site’s rules.

But the Nigerian government insisted the suspension was a matter of national security and not related to the deletion of Buhari’s tweet.

The Nigerian government under Buhari has never hidden its intention to regulate social media in the country. Twitter became the prime target when its CEO Jack Dorsey supported the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in October 2020.

The social media giant also decided to cite its African headquarters in Ghana, noting that “as a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate.”

Many see that as a subtle dig at Nigeria. In fact, Minister Mohammed blamed Nigerians for Twitter’s decision, accusing them of demarketing the country.

There are hopes that the suspension will end as soon as Twitter meets the demands of the Nigerian authorities.

Minister for information and culture Lai Mohammed said in August that a full agreement was in sight.

“The ban on Twitter will soon be lifted as we are getting close to reaching full agreement,” Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters in Abuja on August 11.

“We have agreed on some areas, hopefully in the next few days or weeks we will conclude.”