The federal government says it is “very close” to resolving the issues that led to the ban of Twitter in the country.
The government had, on June 4, announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operation following the deleting of tweets made by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had threatened to treat members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the “language they understand”.
The federal government had however attributed the suspension to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
In August, the government said it had made “tremendous progress” in resolving the impasse following a series of meetings — and that an “an amicable solution is very much in sight”.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, on Wednesday, gave an update to state house correspondents on the status of the talks between Twitter and the government.
He 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.
“And as to how soon is soon, right? I want to assure you that between the time that Twitter operation 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 you that we’re just actually talking about a few, just a few more days now.
“I can assure us that we’re 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.”
When asked for a specific date when the matter will be resolved, the minister 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.”
The Twitter ban has attracted criticism from various quarters including Amnesty International, British and Canadian missions, and the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria.