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“Today marks one week since Twitter was blocked in Nigeria. We have informed the Nigerian government that we are ready to meet for an open discussion to address mutual concerns and see the service restored. We remain advocates for the free and #OpenInternet everywhere. #KeepitOn – Twitter Public Policy, 11th June, 2021.


0n 5th of June 2021, the Nigerian Government officially banned the use of Twitter indefinitely after the Nigerian President’s tweet, Muhammadu Buhari, was deleted because it violated the platform’s privacy policy. President Muhammadu Buhari made the tweet warning the South Eastern people of Nigeria mostly occupied by the Igbos against the reoccurrence of the 1967 Biafran Civil War. The announcement of the indefinite twitter ban was made in a twitter thread by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

 

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.

The deleted tweet which was made in response to the ongoing unrest in the South Eastern part of Nigeria on the verified twitter handle of President Buhari reads:
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
Few Nigerians saw the tweet and reported it to be deleted.

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

According to Lai Mohammed, the twitter platform was suspended because it was ‘used for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.’ He also stated that Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is suspicious and has for a long time been ignoring inciteful tweets against the Nigerian government.

As against the reasons Twitter was suspended in Nigeria, the social media platform has been one of the best and most valid source of information for majority of Nigerians. The platform has enabled youths get connected from various parts of the world and this has helped in bettering the lives of Nigerians, youths especially.
Some of the ways twitter has been of great advantage to Nigerians include: promotion of research, getting through to a large number of people via tweets and retweets, following works of experts in one’s field and building a solid relationship with them, keeping up-to-date with the latest news and developments, expressing who you are as a person and lots more.

This is a message to the Nigerian Government that lifting the indefinite ban placed on the use of Twitter in Nigeria would restore all we have lost and missed out as a nation. All efforts, including meeting with the CEO of Twitter, Jack, should be put in place as one of the country’s progress lies in the smooth running of the great social media platform, Twitter. #KeepitOn #OpenInternet

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By Grace Ololade Rauf

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