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Twitter: FG recants, says no condition for lifting ban

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•President Muhammadu Buhari

ABUJA – The Federal government has said that no condition was given for the lifting of the suspension placed on Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.

On Monday, Minister of Foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama met with envoys from the UK, US, Ireland, Canada and the European union to explain the government’s decision on Twitter.

It was widely reported that the minister stated the only condition to lift the suspension was for the management of Twitter to commit to “responsible usage.”

However, in a statement doing the rounds on Monday evening, signed by Mr Ferdinand Nwoye, Chief Press Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign affairs, the reportage was ‘false’.

The statement read: “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to misleading reports by several media outlets published today, Monday, 7“ June 2021, in which the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama was misquoted as giving conditions for lifting the Twitter suspension.”

“The Honourable Minister after a meeting with some Heads of Diplomatic Missions resident in Nigeria was quoted to have said that “Twitter’s operations in Nigeria will be restored only if the platform can be used responsibly’.”

“This statement by the Honourable Minister has been quoted out of context. Contrary to the publications, the Honourable Minister was speaking generally about the responsibilities that go with freedom of speech, stating that platforms that have the power to instantly disseminate information among billions of people have the added responsibility to exercise that power responsibly.

“The Ministry wishes to state categorically that the Honourable Minister did not give any conditions regarding lifting the Twitter suspension.”

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