As of May 2021, 25.52% use Twitter in Nigeria for different reasons stated above, but with the ban, what is their fate?
Although some others have found their way around the issue –typical Nigerians—by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN), but for how long? Especially with the fact that Nigeria’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami had ordered for the immediate prosecution of those that try to circumvent the government’s Twitter ban after all mobile operators in the country were ordered to suspend access to the social media platform.
Twitter itself had also said on June 5 that it was “deeply concerned” because access to the free and open internet is and essential human right in modern society. It noted that it will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on their platform to communicate and
connect with the world, but till now, nothing has been done. So, what happens to people who are still waiting for the platform to “restore access”?
When asked about the issue of the ban, President Muhammadu Buhari had said in an interview on June 10 that “I’ll keep that to myself”. This might mean that those waiting for the ban to lifted will have to be very patient.
Other question that lingers in the mouth of Nigerians is what happens if the government announces the ban on all other social media platforms? How would they cope? Won’t that be us returning to the stone age?
It has also been reported according to a watchdog organisation that tracks cyber-security and internet administration, NetBlocks, that Nigeria loses about N2.18 billion daily as a result of the ban. This means as of June 10, the country has lost more than N14 billion which is a very huge amount especially at this period where the country keeps borrowing money.
About 69% claim to ‘absolutely disagree’ with the suspension of the platform by the government, 27.1% say they do not agree. 3.3% say they agree with the indefinite suspension of Twitter use by the Buhari administration. Interestingly, while those who agree with the suspension are smaller in comparison to others in the focus group, all of them are either Twitter users and non-Twitter users between 40 – 49 years.