Nigeria’s President Buhari orders lifting of Twitter ban

Nigeria's President Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a ban on Twitter be lifted, but only if the tech giant meets certain conditions.

Buhari’s administration blocked access to Twitter’s services in Africa’s most populous country on June 5, after the company deleted one of his tweets for violating its rules. Information Minister Lai Mohammed said in August the government and the company were close to an agreement on Twitter resuming operations in Nigeria.

“As a country, we are committed to ensuring that digital companies use their platform to enhance the lives of our citizens, respect Nigeria’s sovereignty, cultural values and promote online safety,” Buhari said in a speech emailed by the presidency.

But the ban was still in place on Friday morning, even as President Buhari said Nigerians could continue to use the platform for “business and positive engagements”.

Twitter has not responded to the president’s remarks.

Nigeria’s suspension of Twitter led to strong criticism from human rights organisations and press freedom advocates.

Despite the ban, no arrests or fines have been imposed on the journalists or media houses who’ve continued using the platform via virtual private networks (VPN).

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