Nigeria Bans Twitter After President’s Tweet Is Deleted


DAKAR, Senegal — Nigeria has blocked Twitter after the social media site deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened secessionist groups in the southeast of the country who had been responsible for attacks on government offices.

The government suspended Twitter, which is used by millions of Nigerians, on Friday night, after a government official called the microblogging platform’s presence in Nigeria “very, very suspect.”

The ministry of information posted the announcement of Twitter’s suspension — on Twitter.

Twitter users in Nigeria expressed outrage at the blocking of one of the main outlets that they have to criticize their government and try to hold it to account. Many circumvented the suspension by using virtual private networks to access the service, raising questions of how effective the ban will be.

Nigerian Twitter users have played an outsize role in trying to hold their government to account. The platform was one of the key forms of communication and publicity for protesters in EndSARS, a youth-driven movement that began with calls to abolish an abusive police unit and which led to much wider demands for better governance in West Africa’s biggest democracy.



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