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Nigerians reacts to Twitter Ban

The news prompted an immediate backlash among social media users, as well as among human rights activists. Aisha Yesufu, a Nigerian political activist and co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls, an online campaign that played a key role in raising awareness over the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in 2014, said the government has long been looking for a chance to close the platform where people highlighted its faults. "Twitter has been the voice of the people in Nigeria … It is actually where we held the government accountable," Yesufu told Al Jazeera.

"This is one of the reason why the government has been constantly been looking for a way to shut down the internet as well as all the social sites where Nigerians have been able to meet and discuss," she added. Amnesty International on Friday also condemned the move, calling on Nigeria to "immediately reverse the unlawful suspension".

"This repressive action is a clear attempt to censor dissent & stifle the civic space," Human Rights Watch researcher Anietie Ewang said. Amnesty International condemns the Nigerian government's suspension of Twitter @Twitter in #Nigeria🇳🇬 — a social media widely used by Nigerians to exercise their human rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and access to information

In 2019, Nigeria had announced it would tighten regulations on social media to fight fake news and disinformation, sparking concerns over freedom of expression.

Twitter on Wednesday deleted a remark on the president’s account after he referred to the country’s civil war in a warning about recent unrest in the southeast. The 78-year-old president, a former general, referred to “those misbehaving” in recent violence in the southeast, where officials blame separatists for attacks on police and election offices. "Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand," the president had posted on Twitter.

Source: Aljazeera