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Twitter reacts to its suspension in Nigeria

Twitter says it is deeply concerned with the federal government’s decision to suspend its operations in Nigeria.

Its senior policy communications manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sarah Hart said the company was investigating the development.

The Federal Government suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.

It did not announce when the ban will come into effect.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement in Abuja on Friday on the Twitter handle of the Ministry of Information and Culture said the platform was being used for activities, “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

OTT stands for over-the-top, initially named in reference to devices that go “over” a cable box to give the user access to TV content. In OTT channels, content is delivered via an internet connection rather than through a traditional cable/broadcast provider, like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime video, popular in Nigeria.

According to The Cable Index, Twitter is the 6th most used social media platform in the country, at 61.4 percent.

WhatsAPP has a 93 percent usage, followed by Facebook at 86.2 percent and Youtube at 81.6 percent.

Instagram: 73.1percent; Facebook Messenger: 67.2 percent; Twitter: 61.4 percent and Telegram: 56.3 percent.

Some have argued the suspension may be connected to the company’s decision to delete President Muhammadu Buhari tweet recently.

Backlash continued to trailed the announcement.

Amnesty International’s Nigeria branch condemned the move and called on authorities to “immediately reverse the unlawful suspension and other plans to gag the media, repress the civic space, and undermine Nigerians’ human rights”.

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