President Muhammadu Buhari has given the go ahead for the suspension on Twitter tasks in Nigeria to be lifted.
The president’s order ceasing the suspension of twitter was unveiled in a statement on Wednesday by the Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
On 5 June 2021, the Nigerian government officially put an indefinite ban on Twitter, restricting it from operating in Nigeria after the social media platform deleted tweets made by the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari warning the south eastern people of Nigeria, predominantly Igbo people, of a potential repeat of the 1967 Biafran Civil War due to the ongoing insurgency in Southeastern Nigeria.
The Nigerian government claimed that the deletion of the President’s tweets factored into their decision but it was ultimately based on “a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences”, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The ban was condemned by Amnesty International as well as the British and Canadian missions and the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria. Two domestic organizations – the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Nigerian Bar Association – had indicated intent to challenge the ban in court. Twitter itself called the ban “deeply concerning”. Former U.S. President Donald Trump praised the ban. “Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President”, Trump said.
Nigeria’s Cultural Minister Lai Mohammed stated the ban will be lifted once Twitter submits to local licensing, registration and conditions. “It will be licensed by the broadcasting commission, and must agree not to allow its platform to be used by those who are promoting activities that are inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
As indicated by the latest president’s statement, the lifting of the suspension on Twitter tasks in Nigeria will be effective from 12 am, 13 January 2022. Abdullahi clarified that the endorsement was conceded after a reminder kept in touch with the President by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami.
The statement read:
“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12am tonight, 13th January 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim. “In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”