Nigeria Announces Indefinite Suspension of Twitter

-As Nigerians Switch To VPN To Access Twitter

The Nigerian Government has announced it is suspending popular microblogging site, Twitter, from the country.

A release from the Ministry of Information said the suspension of the operations of the site in Africa’s most populous country will be indefinite.

And the ban is due to “the persistent use of the platform for activities… capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”, according to a release on Friday.

The statement did not explain the sudden decision but it comes after Twitter removed a post by President Muhamadu Buhari for its offensiveness to the platform’s rules.

However, Nigerians are already sharing VPN networks that will allow them to route their Twitter access to global networks that cannot be tampered with by the Nigerian government.

According to reports, Information Minister Lai Mohammed had previously criticized Twitter’s removal of the President’s post, calling it “double standards”.

The post is said to have referred to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and to treating “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand”.

A Twitter spokesperson is reported as saying the post “was in violation of the Twitter Rules. The account owner will be required to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours with their account in read-only mode”. The statement gave no further details.

There were no details on how Nigeria’s ban would work in practice in Friday’s statement, or any explanation of how Twitter had undermined Nigeria’s corporate existence.

The statement also revealed that the national broadcasting regulator, NBC, has been told to start “the process of licensing all OTT [internet streaming services] and social media operations in Nigeria”.

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