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Nigeria News, Nigeria Twitter Ban, Nigeria lifts Twitter ban seven months after shutting down its services



Twitter said the block is worrying and called open Internet access a basic right (Representational)

Abuja, Nigeria:

Nigeria’s government said on Wednesday it has ended its suspension on Twitter, seven months after the social media giant was banned over a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria halted Twitter operations in June after the company removed a comment by Buhari, sparking an international outcry over freedom of expression.

The government and Twitter have been in talks since reinstating the service based on a set of conditions, including registering its operations in Twitter Nigeria.

A statement from the country’s Information Technology Development Agency said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has directed me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari … has called for the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria from 12 pm tonight. The removal has been approved.”

The agency’s director general, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who was with the committee in talks with Twitter, said the social media giant had agreed to rules to restore the service.

These included the establishment of a legal entity in Nigeria, the appointment of a representative of a country, and the fulfillment of tax obligations.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But it has said the block is extremely worrying and called free and open internet access a basic right.

The ban shocked many in Nigeria, where Twitter had a prominent role in political discourse, with the hashtag #BringBackourGirls after Boko Haram abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls in 2014, and the #EndSARS 2020 anti-police brutality protests during.

‘immoral element’

Twitter was criticized by Nigerian authorities for removing Buhari’s remarks, accusing him of allowing activities that threaten the country’s existence.

It was a reference to social media comments by separatist activists in the country’s southeast, where a million people died in civil war five decades ago.

“The immediate and remote reason for the suspension was the continued use of the platform by some unscrupulous elements for subversive purposes and criminal activities, propagating fake news and polarizing Nigerians,” Abdullahi said.

Twitter removed a comment after Buhari made a reference to Nigeria’s civil war in a warning to those responsible for the recent unrest in the country’s southeast.

Following the ban, officials also cited then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s support for the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria last year against police brutality.

According to local researchers, about 40 million people, or about 20 percent of Nigeria’s population, have a Twitter account, and many use the platform for business.

The United States, the European Union and Canada were among those who joined rights groups condemning the harmful restrictions to freedom of expression in Africa’s most populous country.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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