Mixed reactions as Buhari govt lifts ban on Twitter in Nigeria

On January 13, 2022, Nigerians woke up and could access micro-blogging site Twitter without any virtual private network (VPN).

The last time they could do that was June 6, 2021.

A few days after Twitter took down a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari, he announced via his Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, that the site was suspended in the country.

The news was met with backlash from Nigerians, even as the government warned that those who continued to tweet via whatever means will be prosecuted. This threat was later withdrawn.

The international community and rights organisations viewed the Twitter ban as a blatant fight against media freedom and access to information.

In spite of all this outrage, Buhari remained adamant. Instead, he set up a committee to liaise with Twitter and listed conditions to be met before their operations are restored.

According to Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), some of the agreements that have now been reached with Twitter include legal registration of operations, taxation, and managing prohibited publications in line with Nigerian laws.

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