Nigeria’s Twitter ban tiggers criticism from rights groups

This came two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari's account for violating its rules.

FILE: Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, sits at the Shehu of Borno's palace in Maiduguri on 12 February 12, 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The Nigerian government’s decision to suspend Twitter indefinitely has triggered immediate criticism from rights groups and analysts about freedom of expression.

The microblogging site has been inaccessible for many Nigerians after the government suspended operations.

This came two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari's account for violating its rules.

READ: Twitter restricted in Nigeria after government decree

Nigeria’s information ministry said the government acted because of "persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence".

It was a swift implementation of the government ban, which took effect just hours after the policy was announced.

Many Nigerians have condemned the ban, with the country's main opposition party describing the move as "unwarranted" and "pushing Nigerians to the wall."

Back home media monitoring Africa’s director William Bird said the government’s response was irrational.
The move has also attracted international condemnation from amnesty international which highlighted the importance of freedom of speech for Nigerians.

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