The Nigerian government on Thursday lifted the ban on Twitter after seven months of blocking access to the microblogging site.
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, chairman of the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement, stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has approved the lifting of Twitter’s suspension, which will take effect at 12 am on January 13, 2022. “Twitter has pledged to act in a way that respects Nigerian laws as well as the national culture and history that these laws are based on,” he stated as reported by Sputnik citing Lagos-based Daily Post.
Abdullahi further stated that the social media giant has also promised to create a Code of Conduct based on global best practices that would apply to practically all developed countries.
The ban was imposed in June last year after the microblogging site deleted a “controversial” tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. The President’s tweet was related to a secessionist movement in the country. However, the ban was widely condemned by the social media platform and also by the President Joe Biden-led US government. Besides, the Nigerian government had also drawn flak from its own people for the decision.
Many Nigerians defied the ban imposed by the government Imposing the ban, Nigerian Information Minister Lai Mohammed had then stated that the government took such a step because the platform was being used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence,” Sputnik reported.
However, many Nigerians defied the ban by resorting to a virtual private network to access the microblogging site. As per the report, the Nigerian government was also directed by a West African court not to prosecute those users.
President Buhari’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended
It is worth mentioning here that President Buhari’s Twitter account was also temporarily suspended, making him the third head of state to lose posting rights on the site.
The first one was former US President Donald Trump whose account was suspended following the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. The second was Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader, whose account was suspended until he deleted a tweet doubting the efficacy of Western-made COVID-19 vaccines.