The Federal Government said the suspension placed on Twitter in Nigeria would be reversed if the platform could stop its usage by criminal elements to destabilize the country.
At a meeting with foreign envoys on Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama said the Federal Government’s action in suspending Twitter in Nigeria was to prevent its being used by criminals.
The government had summoned the envoy of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union over their comments on the ban.
“The condition ( to lift the suspension) would be a responsible use of the social media and that really has to be it.
“We are not saying that Twitter is threatening the country or any such thing. Why we have taken this measure is to stop them to be used as platforms for destabilisation and facilitation of criminality or encouragement of criminalities,” Onyeama said when asked about when the suspension would be lifted.
The minister noted that the Federal Government is not averse to criticisms and diverse opinions. But he also said that it would not sit back and watch social media become a tool to destabilise the country.
He said: “Differences of opinion is not a problem; everybody will not think alike. But lives matter; Nigerian lives matter and we have to do everything we can to preserve Nigerian lives. And when we feel our goals are threatened, actions need to be taken.”
The envoys had, in a joint statement on Saturday, condemned the ban on Twitter by the Federal Government.
They also decried the move by President Buhari’s administration to gag free speech which, according to them, was not associated with democratic governance.
The envoy promised to support Nigeria in achieving unity, peace and prosperity.
They, however, insisted that the ban came at a critical time when the country needed to accommodate more communication to address a host of challenges facing it as a nation.