Reps urge FG to continue dialogue with Twitter over suspension controversy

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Reps urge FG to continue dialogue with Twitter over suspension controversy

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to continue to dialogue with Twitter over the controversy surrounding the recent suspension of the microblogging platform in Nigeria.

The Reps members made this known during plenary on Thursday, while adopting the report of its joint committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Telecommunications, Information and Technology, Justice, and National Security and Intelligence.

The lawmakers said the Federal Government should be proactive in its interface with Twitter so as to come up with a timely resolution so as to create room for amicable settlement on the matter.

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They also urged the Federal Government to always communicate to Nigerians whenever such critical decision would be taken.

According to the lawmakers, the Federal Government should take into cognizance the negative effect of the Twitter suspension on Nigerians who depend on the platform for their livelihood.

They asked the relevant government institutions such as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria Communication Satellite to be “alive to their mandate by doing the needful to avoid future occurrence of this nature.”

The lawmakers further noted that freedom of expression is not absolute anywhere in the world as security and freedom of expression sometimes present contending interests.

They noted that national security must be guaranteed at all times and that the right to free speech must be protected.

The House of Reps had on June 8 mandated the joint committee to swing into action and investigate the Twitter suspension by the government.

It was mandated to determine the circumstances that led to the action of the government and the legal framework it relied upon for such.

The joint committee was specifically asked to invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed over the matter.

The committee concluded its assignment and submitted the report with six recommendations made to the House for consideration.

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