Seven months after banning Twitter in the nation, Nigeria has lifted the ban on the social media site.
In June 2020, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter after the company deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari about punishing regional secessionists.
According to local authorities, the social media giant sided with the secessionists.
Later on, the state revealed it would reverse the ban after Twitter agreed to conditions including launching a local office in Nigeria.
The latest move allows millions of residents in Africa’s most populous nation to use the platform again.
During the suspension, however, some users continued to access the site using virtual private networks (VPNs), but the government vowed to clamp down on those still tweeting – including media organisations.
The ban by the Nigerian government in 2021 sparked multinational outcry over the infringement on freedom of speech.
The social media company’s decision to register itself in the country showed it was committed to Nigeria, the country’s information technology development agency said.
Twitter is yet to comment on Nigeria’s decision to lift the ban.
The government had directed internet providers to block Twitter, alleging it was being used to undermine “Nigeria’s corporate existence” through the spreading of fake news that could potentially have “violent consequences”.
The directive came after Twitter removed President Buhari’s post referring to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and to treating “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand“.
In Nigeria, Twitter has been popular among residents and the platform has been used severally as a mobilizing tool.
Earlier, activists used it to rally support during protests against police brutality under the hashtag #EndSars, which gained global attention.