Aside from the large numbers of Nigerians who have defied the Federal Government’s order to desist from using Twitter in Nigeria. Some public figures across the country have also continued to use the platform despite the indefinite ban.
This appears as a daring action to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, threatening to persecute anyone defying the Government order.
The personalities include pastors, governors, top politicians, and celebrities. Below are names of some of them.
General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye;
The General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi;
The Senior Pastor of the Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria, Pastor Sam Adeyemi;
The General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman;
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde;
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai
Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose;
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili;
Former Representative of Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye;
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom;
Nollywood Actor, Adesua Etomi Wellington;
Aisha Yesufu, and many others.
The Nigerian Government banned Twitter operations in the country on 4th April, 2021 after Twitter deleted an alleged civil war tweet by the President.
Global Reactions to the Ban
World leaders have reacted to the development as an act to deprive Nigerian citizens of their right of free expression.
At a closed door meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, six envoys to Nigeria from European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada condemned the ban.
The envoys said: “We recognize the official position of Nigerian government on the responsible use of social media but we remain firm in our position that free access to information is very important and perhaps more important during troubled times.”
“We are here as partners and we want to see Nigeria succeed. It’s very clear that we are Nigeria’s strongest partners on issues of security and we recognize the daunting times in the way of the security challenges that confront Nigeria. While they are daunting, they are not insurmountable and part of the way to surmount them is the partnership of the people you see represented here,” they jointly said.
Reaction of Nigerians
As expected and typical of Nigerian youths, the policy was frowned at and have found a new means of accessing the platform.
The use of virtual private networks to connect to another country’s Internet Protocol’s (IP) became the order of the day. Countries such as the US, Canada, Ireland have been the virtual destinations of Nigerians using VPN to Access their account.
What’s Twitter Saying?
The micro-blogging medium platform has assured Nigerians of prompt recovery. In a statement issued via its public policy page. Twitter said:
“We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.
“We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world.” It stated.