INFORMATION and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has disclosed in Washington DC in his ongoing engagement with global media outlets, global think tanks and influencers to showcase government achievements and present challenges facing the country that an end is in sight for the ban placed on Twitter in the country as the micro blogging site has accepted seven out of ten demands by the Nigerian government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister made the disclosure during his respective interaction with Reuters, Washington Post and Bloomberg Quicktake, a live streaming news service.
“We believe that even the other three outstanding demands, are not really about whether they agreed or not but about timing and scheduling. That is what gave me the confidence that we are getting nearer to an agreement,” the minister said.
He said among the demands made from twitter was for the platform to register as a Nigerian company, pay taxes from revenue made from the country and ensure that harmful contents are regulated.
“As recently as last week, we exchanged correspondence with twitter, and when I left home a few days ago, we are expecting a reply from them. It is rather, more left with twitter to respond to grey areas that we asked them to look into.
“We are not inflexible in our negotiation with twitter because we recognise both the positive and negative aspects of the social media,” he said
Alhaji Mohammed said twitter’s ban had been very effective in the country because they see less of harmful and injurious contents on the social media.
He said other social media platforms had been more conscious and alert to injurious contents likely to threaten national security.
The minister added that from the talks they had with twitter, when the platform resumed operations it would not be business as usual.
He said taking cue from the experience with twitter all social media platforms must comply to set down regulations
The minister said the claim that twitter operation was suspended because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet was a mischievous interpretation not grounded in facts.
“Twitter operation was suspended because they were threatening national security, pitching one ethnic group against the other, interfering recklessly in the internal affairs of our country. It renders its platform as a platform of choice for those who are preaching separatism and lend their resources to protesters against the police without understanding the nuances of our culture,
“They raised fund to support EndSARS protesters which led to the killing of 57 innocent civilians, 37 police officers, six soldiers in addition to billions of dollars of destruction in property,” he said.
He reiterated that the platform was suspended because their operations became inimical to national unity.