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Reps summon Communication Minister over Twitter ban

By News Desk

Lawmakers at House of Representatives have summoned Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to appear before the green chamber members to clarify what led to decision of Federal Government to suspend operation of micro-blogging site, Twitter, across the country.

Aside from the summon, the lawmakers also mandated its committees on Communication, Justice, Information, and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to immediately commence an investigation into suspension of the social media company.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the move followed several concerns raised by Nigerians, particularly the youth who use the platform for business and other engagement with international communities.

Speaking during plenary on Tuesday, the speaker noted that following the ban, the green chamber has been inundated with comments about the decision, requests for intervention, and criticism from Nigerians who are directly affected by the ban.

According to him, the House of Representatives recognises that Twitter, like other social media networks, is an important tool for communication and commerce in Nigeria, particularly amongst the younger generation who have used these networks for enterprise and innovation with great success.

“It is in service of our obligations under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our moral duty to the Nigerian people, that the leadership of the House has decided to mandate the House Committees on Communication, Justice, Information, and Culture, and National Security and Intelligence to immediately commence an investigation to determine the circumstances of the decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and the legal authority for the ban on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

“The Committees are additionally mandated to invite the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to brief the House of Representatives on the objectives, intent, and duration of the suspension on the operations of Twitter in Nigeria, and to report to the House within ten days,” he said.

Gbajabiamila further said that the report of the committee would guide action by the House of Representatives” on the suspension of the social media platform.

“Therefore, I urge the committees to act with speed and sound judgment to address this issue that has animated our national conversations over the last few days,” he said.

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