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Lai Mohammed says suspension of Twitter to be lifted soon but unable to tell how soon

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The Federal Government has again assured Nigerians that all issues that led to the suspension of activities of the popular microblogging platform, Twitter, will be sorted out soon.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mohammed, who declined to give a specific timeline on when the suspension would be lifted, said the ongoing discussions between the government and Twitter had been “productive” and “respective”.
Asked on the latest on the Twitter ban in the country as he had promised on August 11 that the ban would be lifted very soon, the minister said: “I think even Twitter itself two days ago gave what I will call a progress report on our talks with them, and I think if I want to quote them rightly, it has been productive and quite respectful.
Lai Mohammed
“And as to the qualifying, when, how soon is soon, right? I want to assure you that the time that Twitter operation has been suspended, between the time it has been suspended, and when it will be restored is by far, much, much shorter.
“In other words, if the operation has been suspended for about 100 days now, I can tell that we’re just actually talking about a few, just a few more days now.
“What we’re trying to do is the changes that have been going on, but we need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, but I can assure us that we’re not mindful of the anxiety of Nigerians and both parties are working very hard to put a closure on the matter.
“And like Twitter itself said the changes have been very, very productive on both parties. It has not been advisory at all. And it’s quite respectful. Thank you very much.”
When asked further to be specific on when the matter would be resolved, Mohammed said: “Honestly, we have gone very far, I won’t be specific, but we have gone very far, and honestly, it’s just going to be very, very soon, just take my word for that.
“Honestly, I can’t be more specific than what I’ve told you that it is going to be very soon.”
The federal government had said the microblogging platform was suspended because it provided an avenue for people threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Mohammed had Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, helped to fund the recent #EndSARS protest while allowing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to use the platform to call for the killing of policemen.
Mohammed had on June 9  listed conditions that must be met by Twitter, including that it must now be registered in Nigeria as a business concern.
There are reports that Nigeria has lost at least $360 million over the Twitter ban.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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