Nigeria’s main phone providers are having a ban on access to Twitter. It is still accessible from some of the wi-fi networks. This move is coming after the government has suspended the Twitter operations in Nigeria ‘indefinitely’.
This ban came forward due to: “the persistent use of the platform for activities… capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”, a statement said.
According to Twitter, Friday’s announcement from the Information Minister Lai Mohammed was “deeply concerning.” On Saturday morning, the reports came out that people are unable to connect Twitter through Airtel and MTN. Others are also affecting.
However, access was possible through some of the wi-fi providers. However, this is not at all a common way to connect to the internet in Nigeria. The search terms regarding VPN have become popular overnight. The Virtual Private Network makes it possible as if the user is having access from another country. This has always been a way to deal with the other bans in other countries.
This move of the government came just days after the removal of the tweet of President Muhammadu Buhari. It was having the accusations of breaching the rule of the site. However, there was no mention of this in the statement.
Mr. Muhammad previously also criticized the decision of taking it down of the US social media giant. He has called it ‘double standards’. The tweet of Mr. Buhari on 1st June has referred to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70. Also, it mentioned treating “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand.”
According to Twitter’s spokesperson, this is a violation of Twitter’s rules. The company will also investigate further to provide updates about its new African headquarters in Ghana after this ban.
The government provided no details about the ban or any explanation about Twitter’s undermining of corporate existence in Nigeria.
Osai Ojigho, the director of Amnesty International Nigeria, condemned the announcement, “This action is clearly inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s international obligations. We are calling on the Nigerian authorities to immediately reverse the unlawful suspension and other plans to gag the media, repress civic space, and undermine Nigerians’ human rights.”
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