“Most Nigerians are unhappy with President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to suspend Twitter indefinitely,” the Editor for International Center for Investigative Reporting in Abuja, Ajibola Amzat reports.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday, June 7, 2021, Mr. Amzat said the President’s decision has become unpopular as it infringes on the fundamental human rights of citizens.
“This decision by the government of Nigeria is a clear violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms of Nigerians. You cannot tell Nigerians not to have access to a platform on which people not only communicate, but transact business. A lot of transactions take place on the platform.”
“The President cannot just decide to deny people access to the platform just because a tech giant has offended him. This is what the decision taken by the President means. Nobody was consulted, there was no debate whatsoever, the President just went ahead and took the decision.”
“Majority of Nigerians are very unhappy,” he added.
Nigeria’s government has suspended Twitter’s operations in the country “indefinitely”, as announced by the country’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.
The ban is due to “the persistent use of the platform for activities… capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”, according to a statement released on Friday.
The decision was taken days after a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari was removed for breaching the site’s rules.
Information Minister previously criticised the US social media giant’s decision, calling it “double standards”.
The site – which was still available to users in Nigeria following Friday’s announcement – removed a tweet sent by the president on 1 June.
It referred to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and to treating “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand”.
A Twitter spokesperson said the post “was in violation of 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.
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”.