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Twitter users to tweet again in Nigeria

Nigeria’s government is expected to lift its ban on Twitter after all parties reached agreement, according to Reuters.

In June 2021 ITWeb Africa reported that the Nigerian government indefinitely suspended Twitter’s activities in the country days after the social network removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari which threatened to punish regional secessionists.

In that month Buhari posted a message on the Twitter platform which referred to the 1967 to 1970 Nigerian civil war and to treating those misbehaving “in the language they understand”.

The decision to ban Twitter triggered a response from digital rights advocacy organisations as well as foreign embassies.

According to a report by ITWeb Africa, Paradigm Initiative and six foreign missions described the move as tantamount to the abuse of citizens’ rights to freedom of expression.

“The directive by the Nigerian government is at its core, an abuse of the rights of Nigerians not just to freedom of expression. But many other rights guaranteed in the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended), the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” reads a statement released by Paradigm Initiative.

On 12 January 2022, Reuters reported that Twitter had agreed to open a local office in Nigeria, and that it would cooperate with local authorities and industry to develop a Code of Conduct.

Reuters quoted a statement by Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, which reads: "Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgement of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built...”

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