By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the conditional lifting of the ban placed on Twitter, a micro-blogging platform, on June 4, 2021, by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed.
In his nationwide broadcast on Friday on October 1 to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence Day, Mr Buhari said the embargo can be removed on the condition that Twitter adheres to some rules, including allowing citizens to use the platform purely for “business and positive engagements.”
On June 4, Mr Mohammed announced the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria after the platform deleted a post of Mr Buhari believed to go against the rules of Twitter.
The Minister had claimed that the decision to suspend Twitter was because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Two weeks ago, after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, Mr Mohammed informed newsmen that the ban would be lifted in the coming days, saying both the federal government and Twitter have made a lot of progress in their ongoing dialogue.
“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 the qualifying word for when or how soon, I want to assure you that the time that Twitter operation has been suspended, (I meant) between the time it 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 that we’re just actually talking about a few, just a few more days now,” the Information Minister had said.
At his broadcast today, Mr Buhari stated that, “Following the extensive engagements, the issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements.
“As a country, we are committed to ensuring that digital companies use their platform to enhance the lives of our citizens, respect Nigeria’s sovereignty, cultural values and promote online safety.”
According to the President, the key issues his administration discussed with Twitter were national security and cohesion; registration, physical presence and representation; fair taxation; dispute resolution; and local content.
Since the Twitter ban became effective on June 5, 2021, some Nigerians have been using various Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access the bird app despite a threat by the government to prosecute anyone still using Twitter in the country.
As at the time of filing this report, Twitter was still not accessible without the VPN
Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President
By Adedapo Adesanya
The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.
Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.
In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.
However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.
“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.
“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.
“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.
Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.
The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.
Sanwo-Olu Promises Justice for Sound Engineer David Imoh
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has promised to ensure that the late Sound Engineer killed by a mob in the Lekki area of the state last week gets justice.
The Governor gave this assurance through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement issued on Monday night.
Last week, after boarding a commercial motorcycle, an argument ensued between Mr David Imoh and the okada rider over N100 and attracted other riders, who then lynched him.
There have been calls for justice for the deceased and in the statement today, the state governor said this would be done.
He condemned the mob attack and said the police are interrogating four suspects at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti in connection with the incident, while two survivors of the act are in hospital.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the government will address the root cause of this and similar incidents, which have caused public anxiety, appealing to residents to remain calm as police continue to investigate the matter.
“Lagos has no room for savagery and anybody found to have been involved in this barbarism will surely face the law.
“We condemn and will not condone any kind of jungle justice, no matter who the perpetrators are,” the statement stressed.
N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, is cooling off in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He is having talks with the agency, explaining what he knows about an alleged diversion of N80 billion belonging to the federal government.
He was picked up by operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022, after allegedly failing to honour invitations by the commission to respond to issues connected to the issue.
In a statement issued on Monday night, the anti-money laundering organisation claimed that Mr Idris, through verified intelligence, “raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” another part of the statement disclosed.
The AGF has been in the news lately over an audit report, which indicted some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government of fraud.
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