Nigerians give muted welcome to end of Twitter ban

Newspapers are pictured after Nigeria government announced the lifting of Twitter ban in Abuja, Nigeria, January 13, 2022. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerians on Thursday reacted with mingled relief and indifference to the government's decision to lift a ban on Twitter, saying many in Africa's biggest economy had stayed connected via virtual private networks (VPN).

For model Kingsley Osine, the government's decision to end the restriction gave Nigerians their voices back.

"It didn't really stop most of us from tweeting, but we were tweeting with fear you know, but now we can tweet freely, we can air our voices freely," said Osine.

Announcing the end of the seven-month suspension, the government said on Wednesday the U.S. social media giant had agreed to establish a local office among other conditions set by the west African nation.

Twitter said it was pleased with its restoration in Nigeria and was deeply committed to the country.

"It (suspension) didn't really change so much for my social life because I was still able to interact with a lot of people on Twitter who were using VPN," said Benjamin Hon, an Abuja-based musician and content producer.

The Twitter ban, however, hurt some Nigerian businesses as it drew condemnation for its effect on freedom of expression and the ease of doing business in Africa's most populous nation.

On Twitter, some Nigerians said the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari's government had been reached to ease widespread anger about the ban ahead of elections set for 2023.

Social media is expected to be an important tool in political campaigning ahead of the contest.

The government suspended Twitter on June 4 after it removed a post from Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists. Telecoms companies subsequently blocked access to users in Nigeria.

Amnesty International Nigeria welcomed the lifting, describing the ban as an attack on the right to free expression that had deprived Nigerians of "a social media platform that facilitates dialogue and empowers everyone to communicate."

(Reporting by Abraham Archiga, writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Editing by William Maclean)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights


Next In Tech News

Russian parliament approves tax break for issuers of digital assets
G7 to tackle cyber threats and disinformation from Russia: communique
Swiss top court upholds ban on foreign online betting operators
Indonesia will use Covid tracking app to sell cheap cooking oil
Siemens to invest in Volkswagen's N.American charging network
Uber agrees to Australia minimum pay body after similar moves in Britain, Canada
Instagram and Facebook remove posts offering abortion pills
Russian industry faces code crisis as critical software pulled
Russia fines United Parcel Service over data storage - TASS
Russia fines foreign firms for alleged data storage violations

Others Also Read