A week after Nigeria banned Twitter from operating in the country, the social media behemoth seemed to have fallen in line as it made overtures to the Nigerian government for having ‘open discussions’ to iron out the ‘mutual concerns’ existing between the two.
In a tweet on Friday, Twitter said it has informed the Nigerian government of its readiness to have an open discussion to sort out the differences and see the service restored.
“Today marks one week since Twitter was blocked in Nigeria. We have informed the Nigerian government that we are ready to meet for an open discussion to address mutual concerns and see the service restored. We remain advocates for the free and #OpenInternet everywhere,” a tweet posted by Twitter Public Policy said.
Today marks one week since Twitter was blocked in Nigeria. We have informed the Nigerian government that we are ready to meet for an open discussion to address mutual concerns and see the service restored.— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) June 11, 2021
We remain advocates for the free and #OpenInternet everywhere. #KeepitOn
The fence-mending by Twitter was in sharp contrast to its earlier stand when it expressed “deep concern” over the suspension of its operations from Nigeria and held forth on access to free and open internet being an essential human right in modern society.
We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) June 5, 2021
We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world. #KeepitOn
During the last seven days, the Nigerian government showed no desire to carry out talks with Twitter over its presumptuous policies. Instead, it created an official account Indian social media platform Koo, a microblogging platform rivalling Twitter. Perhaps fearful that it may lose its business and relevance to Koo, Twitter on Friday attempted to placate the Nigerian government and make a proposal for open discussions with them.
Nigeria bans Twitter after it deleted a tweet posted by President Muhammadu Buhari
Last week, on June 4, Nigeria banned Twitter from the country for interfering in the country’s politics. The Nigerian govt on last Friday announced that it has indefinitely suspended Twitter’s activities. The move came two days after Twitter had deleted a Tweet by president Muhammadu Buhari warning against secessionist movements.
The decision was announced by Information Minister Lai Mohammed. He said, “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. He didn’t elaborate further on how the suspension will be executed. According to Reuters, the Twitter website and apps are still working in the country.
The move is seen as a response to Twitter deleting the president’s tweet, and suspending his account for 12 hours.
Yesterday, Lai Mohammed took had slammed Twitter for deleting the tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari who issued a warning to troublemakers in Nigeria. “We have a country to rule, and we will do so to the best of our ability. Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is very suspect, they have an agenda. The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspicious,” he had said.
In the now-deleted tweet, Buhari had made a reference to the country’s 30-month civil war in 1967-1970 and had warned “those who wanted the government to fail” to desist from fomenting trouble.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”, the tweet posted by the president had said.