President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria. This comes after the social media platform deleted the President’s civil war tweet.
This was announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday. Muhammed cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.”
The deletion of President Buhari’s tweet seems to be an opportunity for the Federal Government to clamp down on Twitter and also signal that the government has in a way started the regulation of social media which is what this current administration has always wanted to.
Recall that, Twitter was a virile and effective tool for mobilising Nigerians for the #EndSARS protest which gripped Nigeria in October last year. Using the social media platform, Nigerians called for an end to police brutality under the EndSARS hashtag. This attracted worldwide attention.
It remains to be seen if Twitter will be blocked in Nigeria by the Federal Government. If this happens, Nigeria will join China, Iran, and North Korea on the list of countries that Twitter is not operational.
Again Twitter is inaccessible, Nigerians will have to access the platform through VPN.