World US, EU condemn Nigeria's Twitter ban
Nigeria signs oil deal to unlock $10 bn investment
Nigeria has signed an offshore oil deal with Shell, Exxon, Total and Eni, that the state says will generate millions, settle disputes and open the way to a $10 billion investment. The agreement also brings "immediate income for government in the excess of $780 million", NNPC head Mele Kyari said, and an opportunity to resolve a $9 billion which he did not specify, Kyari said in a speech that he hoped the agreement would be an "opportunity forThe "Execution of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 118 (Bonga) Agreements" was signed Tuesday by the local subsidiaries of the four oil majors and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The US and the European Union voiced concern over Nigeria's decision to indefinitely ban Twitter after the US social media giant deleted a tweet from the president's account for violating its rules.
International human rights groups have also condemned the move, which followed previous attempts by the government of Africa's most populous country to regulate social media.
Nigerian telecoms operators complied with a government directive Friday to suspend access to Twitter indefinitely.
The diplomatic missions of the EU, US, Britain, Canada and Ireland issued a joint statement late Saturday condemning the ban.
Twitter removes Nigeria president 'civil war' remark
Twitter on Wednesday deleted a remark on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's account for violating its rules, after he referred to the country's civil war in the context of recent unrest. Buhari, a former general, made a statement on Tuesday referring to recent violence in the southeast, where officials have blamed separatists for attacks on police and election offices. Half a century ago, one million people died during a 30-month civil war after separatist generals declared an independent region for the Igbo people in Nigeria's southeast.
"Banning systems of expression is not the answer," it said.
"Precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic."
"The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication," it added.
More than 39 million Nigerians have a Twitter account, according to NOI polls, a public opinion and research organisation based in Nigeria.
The platform has played an important role in public discourse in the country, with hashtags #BringBackOurGirls after Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in 2014, and #EndSARS during anti-police brutality protests last year.
Nigeria 'indefinitely' suspends Twitter
Nigeria's government said on Friday it was suspending Twitter's operations indefinitely, two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari's account for violating its rules. Twitter was still working in Africa's most populous country soon after Friday's statement, which triggered immediate criticism from rights groups and analysts about freedom of expression. Nigeria's information ministry said Twitter was "suspended, indefinitely," because of "persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence" Twitter was still working in Africa's most populous
The government's suspension came after Twitter on Wednesday deleted a remark on President Muhammadu Buhari's account in which he referred to the country's civil war four decades ago in a warning about recent unrest.
The 78-year-old president, a former general, referred to "those misbehaving" in recent violence in the southeast, where officials blame a proscribed separatist group IPOB for attacks on police and election offices.
- 'Misinformation' -
"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.
The presidency denied late on Saturday that the Twitter suspension was a response to the removal of that post.
"There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences," a presidency spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement.
Twitter partly blocked in Nigeria after ban
Mobile phone networks say they have been told to block access to the social media site.Phone users are reporting difficulties in accessing the site. It is still available through some wi-fi networks.
Shehu said the removal of Buhari's tweet was "disappointing" and said "major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities."
Twitter said it was "deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria."
"Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society. We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world. #KeepitOn," the company said in a statement.
"VPN app" was the second most searched trend Saturday on Google in Nigeria, as virtual private networks can enable Twitter users to bypass the ban.
Nigeria warned however that it would prosecute violators.
"Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has directed for immediate prosecution of offenders of the Federal Government ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria," spokesman Umar Jibrilu Gwandu said.
Amnesty International condemned the ban, 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.
Donald Trump hails Nigeria Twitter ban .
The former US president urges other countries to restrict use of social media platforms."Who are they to dictate good and evil, if they themselves are evil?" Mr Trump said in a statement.