The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Wednesday the microblogging platform, Twitter, has approached the Federal Government for dialogue with a view to resolving the problem that led to the suspension of its activities in Nigeria.
The minister, who disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said he got the message from Twitter seeking dialogue with the government over its suspension early Wednesday.
The federal government had last Friday banned the platform in Nigeria over its “persistence use for activities that are capable of undermining the country’s corporate existence.”
Mohammed insisted that Twitter was suspended because it provided an avenue for unpatriotic elements that were bent on destroying the corporate existence of Nigeria.
According to him, the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, helped to fund last year’s #ENDSARS protest and allowed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to use the platform to call for the killing of security agents and destruction of public facilities.
He said Twitter failed to take down Kanu’s tweets despite several requests by the government for the platform to do so.
Mohammed listed conditions that must be met by Twitter before the government would lift the suspension.
One of the conditions is the registration of Twitter as a business concern in Nigeria.
He added that other social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram are also expected to register as business entities so that the country would generate revenue from their operations.
The minister said: “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 to us 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.’’