Over 200 days after Twitter ban in Nigeria, the microblogging and social networking application is now accessible to Nigerians without a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
The government in a statement on Tuesday, January 12, 2022, announced the suspension would be lifted by 12 midnight, January 13, 2022.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12am tonight, 13th January 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim,” a statement by Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) who also doubles as the chair of the joint technical committee of Nigerian and Twitter officials reads.
On June 4, 2021, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter after it removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari which threatened to punish regional secessionists.
The government, however, said the suspension was due to the “unceasing use of the platform by some unscrupulous elements for subversive purposes and criminal activities, propagating fake news, and polarising Nigerians along tribal and religious lines, among others”.
Subsequently, telecommunication companies blocked Nigerian users from accessing the application leading to the rise in the Use of VPNs.
The ban was condemned by Nigerians and the international community and was even described as a real risk to democracy.