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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

SOCIAL

FG Kicks As Twitter Pulls Down Buhari’s Civil War Tweet

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Microblogging platform, Twitter, has in a surprise move that ostensibly has gladdened the hearts of Nigerians, pulled down President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet which says he will deal with those causing trouble ‘in the language they will understand.”

Recall that the tweet generated mixed reactions with some Nigerians expressing shock at the President’s choice of words on his official Twitter handle.

President Buhari had, in the post that brought so much condemnation on the Presidency, said that many people misbehaving today did not experience the civil war.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they will understand.”

The President’s statement no doubt elicited reactions with some media reports that so many people reported the tweet to Twitter, and described it as hate speech.

While pulling down the tweet, Twitter said, “This tweet violated Twitter rule.”

Many Nigerians saw the tweet as a genocidal threat especially such groups as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Oduduwa, and the Middle Belt, fighting for self-determination.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has accused Twitter of unfair treatment of the government, accusing it of bias.

Lai Mohammed, the Minister for Information and National Orientation, who expressed the Federal Government’s displeasure wondered why Twitter did not pull down a number of tweets by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader of IPOB, and the many tweets posted during the #EndSARS protest against Nigeria.

“Twitter may have its own rules; it’s not the universal rule. If Mr. President, anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.

“Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges. If an organisation is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed.

“Two, any organisation that gives directives to its members, to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centres, to kill warders, and you are now saying that Mr. President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that? We are the ones guilty of double standards.

“I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, a person will stay somewhere outside Nigeria and will direct his members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organisation has been proscribed. By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with.”

But in what looks like a mockery of President Buhari’s tweet, former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, said on Wednesday, “When is Mr President, Buhari, using his power as Commander-in-chief to “show Twitter pepper” for deleting his tweets?

“Or Twitter will just delete our President’s tweets like this and there won’t be consequences?

“Nigeria is boiling everywhere and all that the President can do is to be threatening genocide up and down?

“Now that Twitter has dealt with our almighty President Buhari, won’t he “deal” with Twitter too? Like Trump, like Buhari.

“It is obvious that those exercising President Buhari’s powers for him do not know when and where to stop their power-madness.

“Regrettable, Twitter may not know that President Buhari is not the one operating any handle. Can our President operate Android Phone not to talk of making genocidal tweets?

“A president who cannot address his own people in time of crisis can certainly not be the one tweeting on the crisis.

“Twitter should rather hold Garba Shehu, Lie Mohammad and co accountable.”

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Twitter Reacts To Ban, Promises To Restore Access For Nigerians

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Microblogging and social media platform, Twitter, has reacted to the recent ban of its operations by the Nigerian government.

Twitter said on Saturday through its public policy handle that it is deeply concerned by the government’s action.

“We are 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,” it said.

 

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Nigerian Telcos Block Access To Twitter Following NCC Instructions – ALTON

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The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has confirmed that its members have received formal instructions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator to suspend access to Twitter.

The industry association said in a press release Saturday morning that it has conducted a robust assessment of the request in accordance with internationally accepted principles.

“Based on national interest provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and within the licence terms under which the industry operates;  our members have acted in compliance with the directives of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) the industry regulator.

“We will continue to engage all the relevant authorities and stakeholders and will act as may be further directed by the NCC,” ALTON said in the statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and Executive Secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga.

The body said it remained committed to supporting the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and upholding the rights of citizens.

“As an industry, we endorse the position of the United Nations that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online.

“This includes respecting and protecting the rights of all people to communicate, to share information freely and responsibly, and to enjoy privacy and security regarding their data and their use of digital communications,” ALTON said.

On Friday, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Information and Culture announced its decision to suspend the operations of social media platform Twitter in the country.

The statement, made by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and signed off by his media aide Segun Adeyemi, was a culmination of events that have happened this past week.

On Thursday, Twitter had deleted tweets and videos of President Muhammadu Buhari making threats of punishment to a sect called IPOB in the South-Eastern part of the country after he blamed them for attacks on government buildings.

He then referenced Nigeria’s civil war events in the 1960s, which seemed to offend many Nigerians, especially of the South Eastern stock.

Buhari had said that young Nigerians in the country’s southeastern part were too young to remember the horrible events that occurred during the war.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” he said.

Twitter chose to delete the tweet after violating its abusive behaviour policy and several calls by Nigerians to take it down.

Twitter also suspended the president’s account, leaving it in a “read-only mode” for 12 hours.

 

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FG Expresses Reservations, Directs NITDA To Engage Facebook On WhatsApp Updated Privacy Policy

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Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Nigeria's Minister of Communications & Digital Economy

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as the Regulator of the Information Technology sector, to engage vigorously with Facebook to understand the processes, level of security, etc of the data of Nigerian users.

This directive is aimed at ensuring that policies proposed for Nigeria strictly adhere to the provisions of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR).

The directive, DigitalTimesNG understands, comes on the heels of the recent announcement by WhatsApp of the updated Privacy Policy of its messaging application.

The Policy states that WhatsApp will share information about the users on their platform with their parent company (Facebook), as well as other Facebook companies.

The information includes user phone numbers, “transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address.”

WhatsApp further indicated that users who refuse to accept their revised privacy policy risk not being able to use the service at all.

Recall that the Federal Government released the Nigeria Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) in 2019 when it expressed commitment to upholding the data privacy of Nigerians.

“We are also aware that the European region is exempted from the provisions of the updated Policy and it is also being challenged in a number of countries,” said Dr. Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, in a statement.

Adeluyi assured Nigerians that the Federal Government will give utmost attention to the privacy of their data, in line with the NDPR and the National Digital Economy Policy for a Digital Nigeria.

 

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