President Muhammadu Buhari finally lifted the ban on Twitter after a six-month suspension.
Last June, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter’s operations in the country, accusing the bird app of allowing its platform to be used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
However, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has lifted the suspension on Twitter operations in the country, effective from 12 am, January 13, 2022.
The decision was made after Twitter agreed to meet all conditions set by the Nigerian government, according to a government statement. Those conditions include “managing prohibited publication in line with Nigerian law” and addressing issues of operations and tax.
A press statement signed by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, Kashifu Abdullahi reads:
“The Federal Government of Nigeria directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight, January 13, 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami.”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu on the other hand rejoined the Twitter community stating that he hopes Nigerian Youths appreciate the lift of the ban.
His tweets read, “Welcome back! Let me join fellow countrymen and women in welcoming the resolution of the impasse between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Twitter Inc., leading to the laying of a “foundation for a mutually beneficial future with endless possibilities”.
“I join the leaders of government in appreciating all Nigerians, “especially the vibrant Nigerian youths who have borne with the long wait to resolve this impasse.
“As the government statement clearly says, the gains made from this shared national sacrifice are immeasurable.
“We hope that this is appreciated by all. The nation comes first. Once again, welcome back!”
Following the lift of the ban, Celebrities like comedian Mr. Macaroni, singer Laycon, Reality star Alex among others, and Nigerians at large have reacted;
”Good day.If many people haven’t stated it, “The Twitter ban was lifted because of elections”. You can choose to disagree. Be wise”, Alex wrote.
Mr Macaroni wrote: “Oh Oh… e don tire una? Welcome back ooo. You people banned yourselves not twitter. Na una go!! We never left”.
Media personalities Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Frank Edoho also reacted.
“In time for the election season,” Ebuka wrote.
“The Federal Government should just say they have decided to come back to Twitter instead of claiming to lift the ban,” Frank tweeted. “We’re committed to integrating diverse perspectives that make our service better for everyone.”
DrOlufunmilayo tweeted: “Next year is the election year in Nigeria. Candidates are declaring interests and campaigns will soon start.
“So lifting this Twitter Ban is NOT because they care about the millions of young people’s businesses they have ruined – it’s just for politics’ sake. Unfortunate animals.”
Chidi Okereke also wrote: “It was unconstitutional, stupid and evil. Those who perpetrated it are unfit to lead and those who supported them are unfit to be citizens of this country.
“They basically infringed on Nigerians’ freedom to communicate, engage in commerce and connect, which are the things Twitter helps with.
“They banned it for over 200 days. That shows we are not in a democracy. What we have is a semblance of democracy.
“The Senate did not kick against it. The legislative arm of government was powerless about it and gave the executive a free run. Even the media houses that complied with the ban did not help,” Okereke fumed.