Nigerian netizens returned on Thursday to be able to use the social network Twitter and to be free to comment in a massive way on the suspension to which the country with the largest population on the African continent was subject for seven months
The Nigerian authorities approved the lifting of the suspension of the social network in the country decided in June 2021 by the Government according to a statement issued on Wednesday evening
At 0700 0600 GMT the social network was accessible again We are pleased that Twitter has been restored for everyone in Nigeria a spokesperson for the social network said speaking to Agence.
Our mission in Nigeria and around the world is to serve the public conversation We are deeply committed in Nigeria where Twitter is used by people for commerce cultural engagement and civic participation added the same source
Nigerian authorities have made it known that after months of negotiations Twitter has agreed to all conditions set by the Federal Government including taxation and management of content that does not comply with Nigerian laws
Twitter has also committed to establish a legal entity in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2022 the Nigerian Governments statement states
As a sign of this new relationship between the social network and the authorities the Presidency of the country as well as members of the Nigerian Government have also returned to Twitter
Nigerian users of the social network have massively welcomed the lifting of their suspension and the hashtag TwitterBan was the most popular trend in the country on Thursday morning Were back Lets get back to Twitter like we never left was the message under the hashtag.
Many users including human rights groups criticized the governments initial decision to suspend the social network Amnesty International welcomed the decision by the Nigerian authorities to lift the ban on Twitter stressing that the ban was illegal and an attack on the right to freedom of expression
Others criticized the economic cost of the suspension as many internet users use the social network in online small business communication strategies
Nigerian authorities suspended Twitter in June 2021 for an indefinite period and accused the social network of carrying out a suspicious mission against the Nigerian Government as well as tolerating messages on its platform from the leader of a separatist group which incited violence in southeastern Nigeria
Twitter s suspension came two days after the social network deleted a message from President Muhammadu Buhari
The head of state had threatened to deal with those responsible for the violence in southeastern Nigeria attributed by the authorities to the Igbo separatists in a language they understand reviving memories of the Biafra war that killed more than a million people in the decade from 1960
The suspension of Twitter followed by the governments order to the media to delete their accounts as a patriotic gesture caused deep consternation in Nigeria a young and highly connected country where the social network is an important instrument of social contestation
Three quarters of Nigerias 210 million people are under the age of 24 an age group heavily linked via the internet About 20 of the population or 40 million people say they have a Twitter account.