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Nigerians lambast FG over indefinite suspension of Twitter operations

By Alao Abiodun

The announcement by the Federal Government that it has indefinitely suspended operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter has sparked outrage.

The Nation reports the ban came after twitter deleted a controversial post by President Muhammadu Buhari referencing the civil war, and threatening to treat arsonists, agitators “with the language they understand” on Tuesday.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Buhari tweeted on Tuesday.

In a statement on Friday, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced suspension of Twitter operations, citing alleged use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Reacting, many Nigerians expressed dissatisfaction and outrage over the government’s decision describing it as “dictatorial”

Some other Nigerians suggested to users to download VPNs to be able to bypass the restrictions so as to access the microblogging website.

Activist Laywer Festus Ogun argued: “Banning @Twitter violates S. 22 & 39 of the 1999 Constitution. Twitter seems to be the only medium through which we hold the reckless regime of Buhari responsible. We will resist the attempts to ban Twitter in Nigeria.”

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in terse post said, “Hopefully, this isn’t my last tweet. #smile.”

Citizen Gazel said: “We strongly condemn the actions of the FG as violating the right to expression and we advise all Nigerians to download VPNs.

“We are discussing with partners to develop most effective legal strategies in this time. #ResistDictatorship #ShrinkingSpace”

Popular blogger Japhet Omojuwa said: “If Twitter weren’t certain about their choice of Ghana over Nigeria, the latest joke of a Twitter operational ban – see last tweet – is more than enough justification.

Read Also: UPDATED: FG suspends Twitter’s operations indefinitely

“This is 2021, but you could have sworn we were back in 1998.”

SERAP said: “We’re suing Nigerian authorities over their ILLEGAL indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

“Nigerians have a right to freedom of expression and access to information including online, and we plan to fight to keep it that way. @NigeriaGov, we’ll see you in court.”

Cleric Apostle Suleiman said: “They are banning Twitter in Nigeria. And they announced it on Twitter.”

Another User @Letter_to_jack lamented saying, “Buhari and APC campaigned vigorously on twitter in the run-in to the elections in 2015.

“Today they have suspended twitter in Nigeria. We went from frying pan straight into the fire.”

Dr. Dipo Awojide queried: “Does President Buhari and the federal government know how much young Nigerians make on social media platforms like Twitter daily?

“Does Lai Mohammed know the number of jobs being sustained by Twitter in Nigeria? What is wrong with these people?’’

Amnesty Nigeria said: “Amnesty International condemns the Nigerian government’s suspension of Twitter Twitter in #Nigeria — a social media widely used by Nigerians to exercise their human rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and access to information. #TwitterBan.”

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