President Muhammadu Buhari has lifted the suspension on Twitter operations in the country, effective from 12am January 13, 2022.
This was disclosed in a press statement signed by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, Kashifu Abdullahi in Abuja yesterday.
The statement read in part, “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 12am, 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.”
It would be recalled that President Buhari led government on June 5, 2021, put an indefinite ban on Twitter, restricting it from operating in Nigeria after the social media platform deleted tweets made by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Nigerian government had labelled the tech giant’s activities in the country as suspicious.
In the deleted tweet, Buhari had made a reference to the country’s 30-month civil war in 1967-1970, warning “those who wanted the government to fail” to desist from fomenting trouble.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Buhari warned in the tweet that was taken down.
Also Buhari’s account was put on hold for 12 hours after he threatened to punish regional secessionists for attacks on government buildings.
However, President Buhari was referring to the attacks in Nigeria’s southeast region where a string of attacks on electoral offices and police stations had been reported in the recent weeks.
Reacting to the ban, Twitter in a statement defended its action to take down President’s Buhari’s tweet, saying that the tweet “was in violation of the Twitter rules”.
Nigerians especially the youths, had since resorted to the use Virtual Private Network (VPN) in accesing twitter over the last 7months.