NIGERIA — Less than a week after suspending Twitter operations from the country, Nigeria’s government has now laid out conditions for the social networking platform to be reinstated.
The government is demanding that Twitter, alongside other social networking platforms including Facebook and Instagram should register as a business entity in Nigeria.
Twitter has been used as a major platform by the youth to hold protests, having amassed a following of around 33 million subscribers in the country.
Nigeria has given no room for dialogue as it hopes to generate revenue from their operations.
Nigeria’s Minister for Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has said that Twitter formally approached the Federal Government hoping to find a resolution to its suspension.
The minister however maintained that Twitter was suspended because it gave a leeway to unpatriotic elements who were determined to destroy Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Mohammed claims that Twitter, through its owner played a part in financing recent protests (#EndSARS campaign) against the Nigerian police.
The protests which took place in October 2020 saw at least 78 police personnel killed and significant property destroyed.
According to Mohammed, Twitter allowed the leader of Indigenous people of Biafra (IPB) Nnamdi Kanu to use the platform to call for the killings and destruction.
He said Twitter failed to take down Kanu’s tweets in spite of repeated requests to do so.
“Our decision to suspend Twitter has been lauded by some; it has been decried by some. But let me make it clear that what’s important is the sovereignty of Nigeria and until when Twitter is paused.
“And the cardinal thing is that Twitter must be registered in Nigeria, Twitter must be licenced in Nigeria and Twitter must stop using its platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria or to its corporate existence.” Said the minister.
Twitter had recently deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari which appeared as a threat to promoting insurrection and burning critical assets across the country.