Nigeria says Twitter seeking dialogue over ban

The Nigerian government said Twitter is seeking a dialogue in a bid to resolve the issues leading to the suspension of its activities in the west African country.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters here on Wednesday that he receieved a message from the micro-blogging platform earlier in the day, seeking a dialogue with the Nigerian government, reports Xinhua news agency.

“They (Twitter) are now ready to hold senior-level discussions with us,” Mohammed said.

He, however, pointed out that what is more important to the government is “the sovereignty of Nigeria”.

The Nigerian government is insisting on the official registration of Twitter and other social media platforms, due to the latest development, he said.

“The cardinal thing is that Twitter must be licensed in Nigeria and Twitter must stop using its platform for activities that are inimical to the growth of Nigeria or to its corporate existence,” the Minister said.

Aside from suspending Twitter’s activities, Nigeria’s broadcast regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission, has ordered all local outlets to suspend their use of the social media platform.

The Nigerian government on June 4 said it was indefinitely suspending Twitter’s operations in the country, two days after the social media network removed a post from President Buhari where made a reference to the country’s 30-month civil war in 1967-1970, warning “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,” he said in the tweet which was deleted on June 2.

Twitter said it had deleted the tweet because it violated the site’s rules against abusive behaviour.

The US technology giant also suspended his account for 12 hours.