Nigerian Twitter Usage Increases By 18% After Federal Government Ban on the Tech Giant

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Nigerian President Buhari and Twitter Ban
Nigerian President Buhari and Twitter Ban
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In spite of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s ban on Twitter, there has been an unprecedented surge in the usage of the tweeting social media platform among Nigerians in the diaspora as well as those living locally in Nigeria.

A report revealed that out of 192 Million daily Twitter users around the world, Nigeria shares among the 17th highest user countries in the world with the U.S being the first and then Japan, India, United Kingdom, Brazil and other developed and developing countries.

As 9News Nigeria Tech correspondent carried out research on the impact of the ban on Nigerians, it was discovered that Nigerians have rather, out of sheer curiosity used the social media brand mostly yesterday and today compared to any other day in May 2021.

Checking Twitter handles of Top Nigerian politicians, celebrities and influencers it was discovered that the social media users have managed to beat the odds and still used Twitter more than ever.

Some of the tweets were mocking the Federal Government of Nigeria for their ignorance about globalisation enhanced by technology without boundaries.

One Nigerian user tweeted: “President Buhari should block Nigerians from using the Naira. Its value is harmful to national sanctity and Nigerians.”

Another Tweeted: “Thanks to VPN, Nigerians have messed up the Twitter trends of many countries.”

Leading Countries based on Number of Twitter users
Leading Countries based on Number of Twitter users

9News Nigeria had reported on June 4th 2021 that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has banned Twitter in Nigeria after the social media platform deleted his genocidal tweet against people from the South-East of Nigeria.

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The Federal Government’s ban on Twitter was made known in a statement signed by the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed on Friday.

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In another vein, another Social Media Giant, Facebook as well deleted President Buhari’s post on the platform which they considered a genocidal threat against a people.

It is a thing of the past that any country could successfully ban the use of the internet even if they close down their telecommunication networks. This is owing to the availability of satellite driven gadgets and Virtual Private Network (VPN) and many more alternative seamless networks.


Meanwhile, seeing that Nigerians have defied the ban, the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has directed for the immediate prosecution of offenders of the Federal Government ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria.

The direction by the Minister was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu who said that Mr Malami has directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, DPPF, at the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to swing into action and commence in earnest the process of prosecution of violators of the Federal Government de-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

He said that: “Mr Malami directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Communication, NCC and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.”

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In the past, the Nigerian government of Muhammadu Buhari had made several attempts to make laws restricting freedom of speech by restricting social media usage and other new media applications.

On 5th November 2019, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria introduced an Anti-social Media Bill that was purported to criminalise the use of social media in peddling false or malicious information. The bill was harshly criticised by Nigerians, local and international Human Rights Groups citing that it was an insidious move to hamper and impede citizens rights to freedom of speech. Following the opposing reactions from Nigerians and politicians, the bill was quashed or momentarily left to lie low.

@obinna_ejianya (9News Nigeria)

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