Several Western human rights organizations and embassies condemned the Nigerian authorities’ suspension of Twitter’s work in the country, while the authorities there warned of attempts to circumvent the government ban imposed on the platform.
And on Friday, the Nigerian government announced the suspension of the platform’s work indefinitely, against the background of deleting a tweet by the country’s President Muhammad Buhari.
In the context of reactions to this step; Amnesty International condemned the decision, noting that the platform is a social network widely used by Nigerians to exercise their human rights, including freedom of expression and access to information.
And the diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union, Ireland, Norway, Britain and the United States – in a joint statement – expressed their “frustration” with this step.
Several groups – including the Nigerian Bar Association and the NGO Rights and Social Responsibility Project – have threatened legal action if the government does not reverse the Twitter suspension.
Last Wednesday, Twitter deleted a tweet by the Nigerian president, calling it “offensive”, after the president threatened suspected separatist militants in the country’s southeast.
On Saturday, Nigeria’s justice minister said Nigerians trying to get around the government’s ban on Twitter were exposing themselves to immediate prosecution, after all mobile operators were ordered to suspend access to Twitter.
Many Nigerians who use mobile networks to access Twitter woke up Saturday morning to discover that they were unable to access the social media platform.
Twitter can still be accessed through the relatively more expensive fixed broadband, which is used by very few Nigerians.