Twitter Ban Lift: Amnesty International Blast FG, Welcomes Action.

The rights group, Amnesty International, has blasted the federal government over what it described as the illegal ban of the microblogging site Twitter.

These comments follow the lifting of the ban by the Federal after Seven months it banned its operations in Nigeria. The group who welcomed the restoration stressed that the ban was illegal, depriving Nigerians of their right.

According to the group, “Amnesty International welcomes the lifting of the Twitter ban by Nigerian authorities, after 7–months of depriving Nigerians of exercising their right to freedom of expression on a social media platform that facilitates dialogue and empowers everyone to communicate, hold useful debates and conversations, and demand accountability from the Nigerian authorities.

“The Twitter ban was illegal — in the first place — and an attack on the right to freedom of expression, including online, access to information, and media freedom. Nigerian authorities must end all acts that violate rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of the press,” the rights group said.

The federal government had announced the lifting of the ban yesterday in a statement by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, Kashifu Abdullahi.

“President Muhammadu Buhari . . . has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12 am tonight,” he said.

Recall that in June 2021 when the federal government suspended Twitter operations in the country, Amnesty International had been in the forefront in demanding it’s reversal. Osai Ojigho, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, had said: 

“We condemn the Nigerian government’s decision to suspend Twitter — a platform widely used by Nigerians to exercise their human rights including their rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

“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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