Nigerians, Amnesty Group Slam Buhari as Twitter Ban Enters 100th Day

One hundred days after Twitter was banned in Nigeria, many youths have taken to social media to express their anger.


They complained that though Twitter has been banned, they won’t give up on criticising Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari led regime.


‘False hope

The Nigerian government had on June 4, 2021, suspended Twitter barely two days after the social media platform deleted a tweet by President,  Muhammadu Buhari.


In that tweet, the President had threatened to deal with those causing trouble in the country using “the language they understand,” referencing the experience of the 1967-1970 civil war where millions of Nigerians got killed.


The Nigerian authorities have since set plans to force social media platforms to register in Nigeria and comply with local regulations before they are licensed to operate.


Some media houses also had to deactivate and suspend their Twitter accounts.


The ban also followed threats by the Federal Government to shut down media houses over interviews perceived to be against President Buhari and his regime.


However, many Nigerians have bypassed the Twitter suspension by using a Virtual Private Network.


Twitter played a key role for activists in Nigeria, with the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls after Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in 2014, and #EndSARS during anti-police brutality protests last year.


Nigeria had said the ban would end when Twitter submitted to local licensing, registration and conditions for working in the country.


On August 11, 2021, the Presidency through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was close to an agreement with Twitter and would soon lift the ban.


But the “days” turned into “months” when the information minister in another interview with Reuters said the ban will be lifted before the “end of the year” – 2021.


When he spoke after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, the minister had said, “I want to say that the end for an amicable solution is very much in sight.


“We quite appreciate the anxiety of Nigerians, I just want to assure you that we have made tremendous progress.”


End Twitter suspension in Nigeria – Amnesty



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Amnesty International described the suspension as “unlawful”, saying that Nigerians’ voices matter.


The organisation made this known in a statement to mark 100 days of suspending Twitter in Nigeria.


Part of the statement read, “These actions are clear violations of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of the press.


“These actions are the latest symptoms of the alarming backsliding on human rights across Nigeria. Social media platforms have helped Nigerians get information, communicate, hold useful dialogues and conversations, and demand accountability from the Nigerian authorities, particularly during the #EndSARS protests last year.


“When in the streets, peaceful protesters are met with violent reprisal from the Nigerian authorities, and now their online voices are being silenced as well.


“Legislative bills popularly known as the ‘Hate Speech Bill’ and ‘The Social Media Bill’ both of which provide severe punitive sanctions such as the death penalty in some cases for social media users convicted of “crimes” provided under them are also signs of the regression in the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of the press.


“It’s time to end the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and let President Buhari know that Nigerians’ voices matter.”


Nigerians React, Say Buhari Autocratic


Alexbianga Kalu“: There’s no democracy in the government of Mr. Presidency. Autocracy is his nickname.


Adebisi Samuel: Twitter was banned because of ordinary Muhammadu Buhari


Everest Evera Nnamdi : This is what happens when you have Efulefu in power. He derives pleasure from seeing Nigerians suffer for nothing.


Sooko Yago: Clueless government and cabinet. I won’t blame them since we have allowed the old to rule over the young. If not, how would someone like Lai Mohammed who doesn’t know anything about social networking be coming out to defend their stupidity of banning Twitter


Taiwo Sanusi: And some people somewhere, whom we feel should know better will still be defending this government. Is there something they see which the majority can’t see? Or they are feeding fat from this colossal failure?


Emma O. Akpasubi: It is still not clear why the FG has remained adamant over the ban on Twitter, in spite of the huge loss the country is suffering in terms of revenue that would have been generated from it and the job created by it.



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Clearly, the very weak reason given for its ban has been proven to be irrelevant with time, especially when Lai Mohammed came out on national television some times ago to say that the ban would be lifted in a question of “days”. About two months gone, the situation is still the same. The government should stop mocking itself before a world of free PRESS and free speech.


Sholyment Olusola: The president does not understand the digital era. He belongs to the analog age and had refused to improve himself, have you ever heard where Buhari furthered his education since he left the army? Someone who’s talking of taking land for cows, a practice of 1950 in this age that a president that will foster development in our nation? We are in soup.


Princess Jentle Ngodoo: Honestly this country don tire me, how can a person be this heartless? He hasn’t done the important things for the country to be better, his problem is Twitter. Nigeria as a country is failing (tears).


Chikadibia Osuji: You guys need to understand that many Nigerian youths live and survive on Twitter. They use Twitter as their business platform, and in return pays tax to the Federal Government through FIRS. So when Twitter was short down, a lot of these Nigerians definitely went out of business, and couldn’t pay tax from that platform anymore. In return, money was lost.


Adie Samuel Eneji: The government doesn’t care. The president of a country shut down a social media platform because he perceived that his ego was bruised. Just like that! They can’t do anything to help the economy, the only thing they know to do is to destroy the economy. How much is naira to a dollar now? Go back and read what happens to the economy in 1985, history is repeating itself here.



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