Last Updated on August 12, 2021 by Calvin C.
On the 5th of June, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, issued a directive to ban Twitter indefinitely in the country. This was after Twitter deleted a tweet made by the President, which was the last straw.
Unfortunately, Nigeria Twitter ban cost the country’s businesses and content creators millions of dollars as they rely on the platform to generate revenue.
According to Netblocks, the economic impact of shutting down Twitter in Nigeria was roughly US$400 million dollars when this article was published.
Netblocks allows you to calculate the economic impact of internet disruption or app restriction by utilizing indicators from the World Bank, ITU, Eurostat and U.S. Census.
The ban attracted criticism from rights groups and was seen as a suppression of human rights.
However, the Minister of Information went on to remind citizens that national stability is more important than other freedoms.
The Twitter ban to be lifted
At the time of writing this article, that is about 10 weeks after the ban, cool heads eventually prevailed and the ban is coming to an end.
This comes after differences between Twitter and the Nigerian government were resolved, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
“We recently met with the Nigerian government to discuss why Twitter has been blocked and ways to resolve the matter,” a Twitter spokesperson was quoted by Reuters.
“Our aim is to chart a path forward to the restoration of Twitter for everyone in Nigeria. We look forward to ongoing discussions with the Nigerian government and seeing the service restored very soon.”
Minister Lai Mohammed briefed State House correspondents on the 11th of August 2021 and indicated that most of the issues had been resolved.
As one of the conditions, the Nigerian government wants Twitter to set up offices and a register as a company with an operating license in the country.
This may be a short notice for Twitter as the social media giant indicated that the earliest it can set up shop is in 2022.
What led to the ban?
President Buhari tweeted as a response to disturbances that occurred at INEC facilities.
INEC is an electoral body which oversees elections in Nigeria and has been subject to attacks, vandalism and arson across the country.
In the tweet, the President wrote:
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”
Twitter took down the tweet, which it said violated it’s rules, barely 24 hours later.
While many believed the deletion of the tweet triggered the ban, the Nigerian government said it was not about the the tweet
Instead, it was mainly to do with persistent use of Twitter by members of the opposition to undermine the country’s sovereignty.
Even local broadcasting networks were ordered to show “patriotism” by suspending Twitter accounts.
How Nigerians are using Twitter during the ban
It’s easy to bypass the Twitter ban by using a VPN, and shortly after it came into effect in June 2021, there was an increase in the use of VPNs.
Not all VPNs are safe though because free VPNs have flaws that can compromise your privacy and security.
To learn more about VPNs that are safe to use when you want to unblock Twitter, read this article.
Got no time? The overall best VPN to unblock Twitter is NordVPN.
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Banning a social media platform is never going to solve the underlying problems. Continuous dialogue amongst political players is essential to resolve the country’s internal conflicts.
If you are travelling to Nigeria or you stay in the country and you want to access Twitter, I recommend that you use NordVPN as it gives you the biggest value for money.
All your internet activities are kept strictly private in the VPN tunnel and your ISP cannot view your logs.
What do you think about the Twitter ban? Leave comments below and share the article with your friends on social media.