#TwitterBan: There Are 40 Million Twitter Users In Nigeria, Says USAID

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The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has reacted to the Federal Government’s suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria, describing it as “a denial of free speech”.

According to the USAID Administrator, Samantha Power, there are nearly 40 million Twitter users in Nigeria, adding that the country is home to Africa’s largest tech hub.

“This suspension is nothing more than state-sanctioned denial of free speech and should be reversed immediately,” she said.

Recall the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Friday, announced the indefinite suspension of the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria, citing “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

This development has since met with heavy criticisms from a number of Nigerians, saying it was an attempt to suppress freedom of speech as many now use virtual private networks (VPN) to access Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has directed for immediate prosecution of violation of the directive.

“Malami directed the DPPF to liase with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Communication (NCC) and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay,” said a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.

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