Lawmakers reject motion to lift Twitter ban

Many lawmakers just can't understand why lifting the Twitter ban is a priority.

House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila (Ripples)

Majority of legislators in Nigeria's House of Representatives, have rejected a motion to lift the suspension handed to microblogging platform Twitter by the federal government.

After Twitter deleted one of President Muhammadu Buhari's tweets for invoking the ghosts of a genocidal civil war, the federal government directed telecommunication companies to turn off Twitter on June 4, 2021, citing the capacity of the social media platform to "undermine Nigeria's corporate existence."

On Thursday, July 1, 2021 as the House deliberated on the reports of committees tasked with looking into the ban, Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu suggested an amendment to one of the recommendations.

The recommendation reads as follows: “That the federal government should take into cognisance the negative effect of the Twitter suspension on Nigerians who depend on the platform for their livelihood...and lift the suspension."

When the recommendation was put to a voice vote, the "Nays" railed the loudest and the suspension motion was subsequently laid to rest.

On June 8, 2021, House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture; and National Security and Intelligence, to immediately commence an investigation into the suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

The federal government has insisted that Twitter must pay taxes to Nigeria and register as a Nigerian company before the ban would be lifted.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed continues to blame Twitter for the violence, looting and arson that swept through the country in the wake of last October's protests against police brutality.

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