President Muhammadu Buhari has announced that the ban placed on microblogging site Twitter in June 2021 will be lifted, saying he “regretted that some users have misused the platform to organize, coordinate, and execute criminal activities, propagate fake news, and promote ethnic and religious sentiments”.
Twitter needs to meet the Nigerian government’s five conditions before the suspension of the social media platform will be lifted, including that Twitter must pay attention to n”ational security and cohesion; registration, physical presence, and representation in Nigeria; dispute resolution, and local content”.
The government had suspended Twitter on June 4, 2021 after it removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari threatening to punish regional secessionists. Nigerian officials denied that the ban was in retaliation for deleting the president’s tweet.
The decision drew widespread criticism from Nigerians, many of whom pointed out that, ironically, the government announced the ban on its Twitter page. Nigeria’s attorney-general initially said those who breached the Twitter ban should be prosecuted, but that was not enforced. A West African court ruled on June 22, 2021, that the Nigerian authorities could not prosecute people for using the service while it considered a suit seeking to overturn the ban.