Twitter Ban: Buhari orders Lai Mohammed, Pantami and Malami to negotiate with Twitter

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed a Federal Government committee to enter into dialogue with Twitter regarding the ban of its operations in the country.

The committee is led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Other committee members include Attorney General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami and Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

The new development follows a recent disclosure by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed stating that Twitter had contacted authorities in the country over the suspension of its platform.

However, it appears that the authorities have not been forthcoming in discussions with Twitter. Indeed it is possible that this is what necessitated President’s Buhari’s latest directive.

lai mohammed
Lai Mohammed

Recall that the House of Representatives recently summoned Lai Mohammed after passing a resolution to investigate the legality of the government’s decision to ban Twitter operations. This came on the back of a directive by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, mandating the arrest of Nigerians caught using Twitter following the ban.

But a 10-day investigation by the House committee looking into the matter has not yielded any known results. As at this time, the House committee is yet to report any findings to the National Assembly.

Twitter’s suspension in Nigeria has now lasted over two weeks since the order was enforced on June 5, 2021. In this time, Nigeria may have lost up to N34.8 billion, based on an estimate by Netblocks which posits that each day of the Twitter ban costs Nigeria about N2.18 billion.

Meanwhile, the Senate is deliberating on amendment to the National Press Council Bill which many media stakeholders view as another attempt to stifle press freedom and fully censor media operations in the country.

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