World News

Twitter Prohibition Nigeria

Alvaro Dominguez of BuzzFeed News

On the morning of June 5, 23-year-old Farida Garba opened up her Twitter account to let her know that she too 39 million more Nigerians Twitter users, were unable to access the platform.

“The Tweets were not reopened, and it took me an hour to find out what happened,” Garba * – who chose to use the name for his defense – told BuzzFeed News.

Yesterday, the Nigerian government announced the suspension of Twitter operations in the country, surprisingly Twitter account of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. On the date of the ban, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, which represents all communications companies in the country, confirmed that its members had received orders from the federal government to block access to all networks on Twitter.

Government says ban “temporary”But he did not say how long it would take. Even Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who, when asked about the future of the ban in regular communication, he kept his mouth shut and said he would keep his schedule.

Michael Kappeler / dpa via Reuters

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

To many, announcing the ban seems to be the answer to Twitter’s idea cancel a tweet produced by Buhari, alleging that I violated the program’s rules against “violence.” His account was suspended for 12 hours.

The opposition page threatened to support the rebel groups that think they are left behind recent threats to the security forces in Southeastern Nigeria and the power to commemorate this during the Biafra – Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970. led by those who want to leave Nigeria and restore the Biafran state.

In response to the tweet being removed, the Minister of Culture and Culture, Lai Mohammed, acted as a press conference in the capital, Abuja, says Twitter’s actions in Nigeria are “questionable” and accuses the platform of having “negotiations”.

A few days later, the ban was announced and immediately implemented without any discussion from the legislature, which left many Nigerians disbelieving.

Since then, only a handful of people have been able to sign up for Twitter using secret networks beyond the limits. The government also stated that anyone who violates the ban they will be held accountable.

In West Africa, social media has played a key role in giving citizens the opportunity to express their views and openly express their frustration with the government outside the elections. In October 2020, the microblogging platform was instrumental in promoting #EndSARS protests against police brutality, which took more than two weeks to complete. killing many people of at least 12 people and military soldiers.

Prior to the #EndSARS team, Twitter helped protesters organize, donate, distribute support, and show off opponents on the ground and online to connect. The Central Bank of Nigeria, in compliance with federal law, has suspended donations to about 20 bank accounts linked to the protests, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey confirmed his support for the protests. writing that Nigerians should adopt Bitcoin as an alternative.

Many Nigerians believe the ban is in retaliation for what Dorsey did during the protests.

Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP via Getty Images

A man holding a placard during a demonstration in Ojota in Lagos on June 12, 2021, as Nigerian civil rights activists called for a nationwide protest against the recent ban on Twitter by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The protests started and grew bigger because of the media,” 23-year-old journalist Eniafe Momodu told BuzzFeed News. “It was probably the first time that Nigerian seniors, including our government officials, understood the dynamics of television.”

Even before #EndSARS, the Nigerian government, led by Buhari, has been active in trying to impose sanctions on television. In 2019, anti-social media bill, which sought to oppose the use of social networking sites in “selling fake or bad stuff,” was quoted as saying. The bill was opposed by the people, who initiated it requests calling for him to continue to advance the people, and he was eventually killed.

Prior to that, in 2015, some of the laws that were removed here called Unreasonable Requests (Prohibitions) The Bill was introduced less than a year after Buhari came to power. The law threatens him with up to seven years in prison or a $ 25,000 fine for anyone found guilty of spreading “falsehoods that would threaten national security.”

Prohibiting and threatening to be prosecuted on Twitter is illegal under Nigerian law, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, human rights lawyer Ridwan Oke told BuzzFeed News.

“They all talk about the same thing, which is freedom of expression. It’s a fundamental right,” Oke said.

Several human rights organizations have spoken out against the ban, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project going to court in the court of the Economic Community of West Africa States, and 176 Nigerians concerned to take part in court.

Moving to block Twitter is received treatment from former United States President Donald Trump, who said he should have done the same while still in office and criticized social media as “not allowing free and open communication.”

It would be hard to imagine how this ban would affect the millions of people who consider Twitter to be so useful. The Nigerians we spoke to shared that they were feeling angry, anxious, or scared, and many said they were still unbelievers.

“When the ban was announced, I was scared, if something bad happened and we couldn’t get help,” Olapeju Jolaoso, a 28-year-old businessman, told BuzzFeed News. “My first clients were on Twitter. Now I’m just afraid to send a tweet from my business account; I’m afraid they’ll bother me. It’s dangerous because you never know what they will do, ”he said.

Adding to his frustration is the fact that Jolaoso, who had a group of Twitter marketers, had to move his online business to other apps such as Telegram and Facebook.

But the benefits of Twitter also lie in the security and environment that cater for women and men – both of whom are highly marginalized in the country. Somi, a barren woman born in Nigeria, finds this ban a serious problem.

“Twitter is a place I turned to find my friends and community,” said the 19-year-old, who is now making money as a result of their medical changes. “Seeking advice and encouragement without external judgment. It was me [used my voice] and I have found all the help I need. ”

For 21-year-old human rights activist and author Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, the impact on LGBTQ Nigerians who watch TV programs such as Twitter has escaped is huge.

“For us, social media is not just about repairs – but also about security. We can’t meet legally without our guidance,” he said.

In Nigeria the expression of homosexuality is a crime committed 10 years in prison.

Somtochukwu also said that if the ban continues, LGBTQ Nigerians will suffer.

“It will mean the loss of the community, the loss of access to other life-saving information, the loss of access to help when needed,” he said.

For Nigerian women, Twitter has been instrumental in combating inequality and violence. Campaigns like March Market, who work hard to combat the culture of oppression and persecution, have found their lives on Twitter.

“This is now a place for sharing space, a place to call for protests and violations of our rights, to provide psychological support, and much more,” explained PR consultant and deputy Ebele Molua. “We are struggling to find a place to feed ourselves in a country that does not care about human rights and the advancement of oppressed groups.”

Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Demonstrators carry placards during a public display at Gani Fahweyinmi Park, Ojota State, Lagos, Nigeria, on June 12, 2021.

Experts suggest Nigeria should be hit hard by the ban. According to NetBlocks’ Price of a Lock Tool, Nigeria has lost a bit $ 6 million a day Twitter remains impossible. The additions include tarnishing the country’s image as a democracy, says Adeboye Adegoke, senior program manager at the Paradigm Initiative, which promotes digital integration and digital freedom in Africa.

“The current government in Nigeria has repeatedly stated that it does not believe in the principles of democracy,” Adegoke said. “Moving like this is attracting money. Then there is the real concern with FDI (foreign currency) which I believe we can find a way to measure so that we can say what has been lost. “

For many Nigerians, there seems to be no end to it.

“I don’t think the ban will be changed anytime soon,” Cheta Nwanze, a Nigerian political leader and leader at SBM Intelligence, told BuzzFeed News.

“This government has a reputation for backing the wrong ideas… I sincerely believe I am wrong, but I see this ban until the election season.”

As it stands, Nigerian youth are arguing on the way forward. Some of what we talked about didn’t know what would happen next and I just decided to wait for the ban. “I am very scared of the protests because these people have already killed us,” [and] they will do it again, ”said Garba.

Others, however, were hoping to return to the streets to perform demonstrations such as these June 12 to coincide with the Day of Democracy in Nigeria. The demonstrations, which took place in various parts of the country, were very peaceful but met with a rich Nigerian police presence. Authorities did not hesitate to use force and violence, tearing apart and arresting others.

Molua said he did not believe “Nigerians can endure for a long time.”

“October brought something up in us, just the way it shook us,” he said. “It showed us that we can have a voice and want the best from our leaders if we listen to one voice, and I believe that [can] in the end we will win. ”●

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button