Nigeria to Begin Talks With Twitter Following ‘Indefinite’ Ban

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The Nigerian government is seeking to begin reconciliatory talks with Twitter after issuing a countrywide ban.

The progress follows a reported letter from Twitter to the President “seeking to engage with the Federal Government over the suspension,” a statement released by the Office of the Minister of Information and Culture on Tuesday reads.

The team comprises of some of the administration’s top ministers.

Twitter suspended President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this month after he threatened to punish a sect called (Indigenous People of Biafra) IPOB in the South-Eastern part of the country, accusing them of attacking government buildings. Buhari then referenced events during the Nigerian Civil War.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Biafra war,” Buhari wrote. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

Twitter deleted the president’s tweet, setting his account to ‘read-only’ for 12 hours. In retaliation, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, issued the following statement in. response.

“The Federal Government has suspended indefinitely the operations of the microblogging and social networking service Twitter in Nigeria. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the presistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

On the same day, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS prohibited the Nigerian government from arresting and prosecuting Nigerians and corporate entities for bypassing the Twitter ban.

Justice Keikura Bangura of the ECOWAS Court ruled that “the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its agents to refrain from imposing sanction on any media house or harassing, intimidating, arresting and prosecuting the Applicants, concerned Nigerians for the use of Twitter and other social media platforms,” until the court has reached a conclusion.

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