Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria
The Nigerian Federal Government on Wednesday revealed that it was “very close” to ending the over 100-day ban on the microblogging social media platform, Twitter.
Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondent reporters at the end of today’s weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) at the First Lady’s Conference room, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister, who was quizzed for an update on the suspension and ongoing negotiations with Twitter management said, “The end for amicable resolution is very much in sight. We appreciate the patience of Nigerians. I want to assure you that we have made very tremendous progress. We have met with Twitter both physically and in writing. We are almost there.
“The engagement has been extremely positive without any acrimony. We have made it clear what we want from Twitter.”
Mohammed stated that some of the conditions the Federal Government gave Twitter is to start up a legal presence in the country by registering as a Nigerian company with a recognised address.
Over 100 days later, the Information Minister, gave the same assurance while fielding questions from journalists on the latest development towards resolving the matter after the FEC meeting said that it was a matter of days.
He said, “Thank you very much. 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. That I can assure you that it is by far. 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.
“What we’re trying to do is the changes that have been going on, but we need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. I can assure you 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.”
Asked for specifics on when the matter would be resolved, he 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.”
When he was asked for further specifics, he said, “Honestly, I can’t be more specific than what I’ve told you that it is going to be very soon. Thank you,” he said.