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Nigeria’s Twitter Ban Threatens The Country's Social Activism

Over the years, several injustices by the Nigerian government have pointed to a democracy in tatters, one that needs to constantly be monitored. With Twitter banned indefinitely in Nigeria, what will actually become of social activism in the country?

On the morning of June 5, activist and student Freddie Jacobs woke up to a shocking realisation. She opened her Twitter account, as part of her morning ritual, only to discover that tweets were not loading. However, what overwhelmed Freddie was a strange fatigue, the type that gripped her entire body. "I felt helpless and frightened at the state Nigeria was in. I know we all expect this tyranny but watching them ban Twitter, as well as remembering what went down during the October 2020 #EndSARS protests convinced me that the Nigerian government was really out to punish and harm Nigerians in whichever way they could. We do not have the freedom to protest or tweet our opinions about the government," she shared.

A week prior to the ban, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari published a tweet that reeked of genocide, and also made threatening allegations to the IPOB secessionist group in the south-eastern part of the country, accusing them of leading attacks on political office holders. Twitter immediately took down the tweet, saying it had violated its 'abusive behaviour' policy.

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