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Twitter Ban: Nigeria Joins Eight Other Countries In Infamous Club

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As of 2019, the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, and Turkmenistan amongst others had either temporarily or permanently blocked Twitter in their domains.

In a controversial move, the Nigeria government on Friday announced it has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in the country.

The federal government based its decision on the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

This decision came two days after Twitter deleted a controversial post by President Muhammadu Buhari referencing the country’s civil war, and threatening those who attack government buildings “with the language they understand”.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Mr Buhari warned in the tweet that was taken down.

Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed was dismissive of Twitter’s action, saying Mr Buhari had the right to express dismay at violence by a banned organisation.

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

Authorities did not clarify how and when the ban would start but the announcement has already sparked a torrent of outrage, with many people saying it is a move by the government to clamp down on freedom of expression.

Twitter said in a statement on Friday that it was investigating the “deeply concerning” suspension of operations, and would “provide updates when we know more”.

There are at least eight other countries where repressive governments have imposed a ban on Twitter.

As #TwitterBan takes effect, here are five ways to remain connected on Twitter

Twitterban: Aisha Buhari deactivates Twitter account as FG denies Nigerians access

As of 2019, the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Turkmenistan amongst others had either temporarily or permanently blocked access to Twitter in their domains.

Turkey
Turkey blocked access to Twitter in March 2014 in the run-up to local elections. The move was reportedly carried out to stem a stream of leaked wiretapped recordings of senior officials that had appeared on the site, prompting then Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to say he would “root out” the network.

Turkey lifted the ban on Twitter after the social networking site complied with its request to remove photographs of a slain Istanbul prosecutor.

The decision caused a public uproar and drew heavy international criticism.

Twitter said the government of Turkey since 2017 accounted for more than 52 per cent of all content removal requests worldwide.

China
In 2009, China blocked Twitter temporarily. The move was imposed after a “small group of China’s Muslim ethnic minority used the site to exchange information which resulted in deadly riots in Xinjiang.”

After the ban, many Chinese opted to use Twitter via VPN. Twitter was officially blocked alongside Facebook, Google+ and Foursquare.

Egypt
Egyptians had no access to Twitter on January 25, 2011 during the 2011 Egyptian protests. On January 27, various reports claimed that access to the entire Internet from within Egypt had been shut down. However, on February 2, 2011, connectivity was re-established by the four main Egyptian service providers.

In 2016, Egypt cut off internet sites such as Twitter and Facebook as the government tried to prevent social media from being used to foment unrest.

Iran
Twitter was blocked in Iran in 2009 after a contentious presidential election. During the period, only Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was not prevented from owning a Twitter account.

About two million Iranians access Twitter using VPNs, and Twitter was integral in galvanizing support for Iran’s 2010 Green Revolution.

North Korea
North Korea officially announced it was blocking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and South Korean websites in a bid to further control access to outside information in 2013.

The government announced it was blocking the aforesaid platforms “for a certain period of time.” It also said gambling and “sex and adult websites” had been blocked. In 2010 the government surprised the world by reportedly starting its own Twitter account. South Korea, in response, blocked the account from its own borders.

Accessing Twitter without the government’s permission is a punishable offence. This applies to both citizens and foreigners.

Saudi Arabia
In 2013, the Saudi Arabian government blocked Twitter when it conducted an “experiment “. The app was an important tool for criticising the government. It also censors individual social media pages, blocks accounts of political activists, and curbs freedom of expression by using tweets as grounds for charges like defamation and blasphemy.

Turkmenistan
Foreign news and opposition websites have been blocked in Turkmenistan since 2018. Social networks like Twitter are usually described as “often inaccessible”.

UAE
In 2007, the UAE blocked Twitter, meaning anyone in the UAE who went to the site was welcomed with the following message:

“We apologize, the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.” But Twitter has since been available in the country.

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Kenneth Kaunda, last of African patriarchs joined the ages @ 97

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The first president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, has died aged 97. He was the country’s founding father and ruled for 27 years from 1964 after it gained independence from Britain.

Kaunda’s death comes days after reports that he was admitted to Maina Soko military hospital in the capital, Lusaka, where he was treated for pneumonia from Monday.

One of the first generation of post-independence African leaders, Kenneth Kaunda led his vulnerable and landlocked nation through a perilous era in southern Africa. It was his most outstanding achievement that during his 27 years in power he maintained domestic stability in a comparatively benign manner while providing bases for the movements struggling against his far more powerful white neighbours in Rhodesia and South Africa. 

Kenneth David Kaunda (28 April 1924 – 17 June 2021), also known as KK, was Zambian President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. Kaunda was the youngest of eight children born to an ordained Church of Scotland missionary and teacher, an immigrant from Malawi. He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from British rule. Dissatisfied with Harry Nkumbula‘s leadership of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress, he broke away and founded the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). He was the first President of the independent Zambia. In 1973 following tribal and inter-party violence, all political parties except UNIP were banned through an amendment of the constitution after the signing of the Choma Declaration. At the same time, Kaunda oversaw the acquisition of majority stakes in key foreign-owned companies. The oil crisis of 1973 and a slump in export revenues put Zambia in a state of economic crisis. International pressure forced Kaunda to change the rules that had kept him in power. Multi-party elections took place in 1991, in which Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, ousted Kaunda.

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Ex-MD of Bank PHB Atuche to spend 6 years behind bars for N25.7bn fraud

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Ex-MD of Bank PHB Atuche to spend 6 years behind bars for N25.7bn fraud 

An Ikeja High Court on Wednesday sentenced a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank) Francis Atuche to six years imprisonment for N25.7 billion fraud.

His co-defendant, Ugo Anyanwu, was also sentenced to four years imprisonment.

The duo was convicted in 21 of 27-count charges against them.

Atuche and Anyanwu were sentenced to six and four years on each of the 21 charges. The sentences will run concurrently.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu said the convicts must make restitution as contained in Count 4, noting that the amount stolen was not up to what was alleged in the charge.

The judge discharged and acquitted Atuche’s wife of charges of conspiracy and stealing.

She held that the EFCC failed to link her to the crime, adding that suspicion no matter how strong can not take the place of fact.

In convicting the duo of Atuche and Anyanwu, the judge upheld the arguments of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Kemi Pinheiro, who prosecuted the case with the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Pinheiro had opposed Atuche’s contention that the stolen funds in dispute were loaned, not stolen.

The judge agreed with the prosecution and held that the money belonged to the bank and that it was capable of being stolen.

Justice Okunnu convicted Atuche and Anyanwu on counts 1 to 11, 14-20, 23, 24 and 27.

“The first and third defendants did not debunk the evidence of the prosecution that the loans were used to purchase shares.

“They rather contended that the monies granted as loan could be used for whatever purposes,” she said.

In a judgement that lasted over 11 hours, Justice Okunnu held that the EFCC successful proved its case against the convicts beyond a reasonable doubt.

The judge also held that the offences for which the convicts were charged can not be said to be mere professional negligence but criminal.

The court held that Atuche and Anyanwu abused their powers and ignored established rules and regulations, thereby putting the bank and depositors’ funds in danger.

The court held that the convicts corruptly took advantage of their positions to confer on themselves undue financial benefits without regard to the health of the bank.

The EFCC alleged that between November 2007 and April 2008, the convicts stole about N25.7bn belonging to the bank.

The defendants had pleaded not guilty.

Source: The Nation 

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State of the nation: Group insists on creation of Aba State

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. As Governor Uzodimma backs additional State for SE

Aba State Movement on Wednesday told the House of Representatives Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution which was held at the Concorde Hotel, Owerri, that the request for the creation of Aba State was a quest for equity based on history stretching more than 40 years.

This is even as the Governor of Imo State, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, called on the National Assembly to consider additional state for the Southeast.

Chief Theo Nkire, who presented the case for the proposed Aba State recalled that the House of Representatives passed a motion for a referendum on the creation of Aba, Abia, Ebonyi, and Enugu States from the then Anambra and Imo States in January 1982. In June 1983, the Senate passed the same motion on the creation of Aba, Abia, Ebonyi, and Enugu States from the then Anambra and Imo States. On the same day the National Assembly confirmed the four States and others for referendum.

“Of the four States the National Assembly confirmed for referendum by 1983 Aba State is the only one that has not been created from the South East,” he said, waving copies of the 39-year-old Hansard that reported the National Assembly’s decision.

Chief Nkire, first Attorney General of Abia State, said that most recently Aba State’s case was made by a Committee that Chief John Nnia Nwodo, immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, inaugurated on 11 September 2018, in his capacity as the President General of Ohanaeze. The Committee’s mandate was to evaluate requests for more States in the South East.

He noted that the conclusion of the Committee’s report to Governor Dave Umahi, Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum stated, “The Committee considered the merit for the creation of Aba and Adada State respectively, resolved and recommended for the creation of Aba State with 12 members supporting and 5 abstaining. The Committee also recommended that any other State Creation exercise in the South-East should give Adada State priority.” The report was dated 10 October 2018.

Aba State Movement, he said, stood by the report of the Ohanaeze Committee on State Creation. Chief Nwodo, who was Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide President General until January 2021, set up the Committee. “The Ohanaeze Committee, under Chief Nwodo’s presidency recommended the creation of Aba State,”

President Muhammadu Buhari had promised an Ohanaeze delegation Chief Nwodo led to Abuja in November 2017 an extra in the South East. Chief Nwodo inaugurated the 2018 Ohanaeze Committee. It was the process in realisation of an extra State in the South East as the President promised.

On his part, Governor Hope Uzodimma also called on the National Assembly to consider additional state for the Southeast, saying that Ndigbo want a constitutional that works for all Nigerians on the basis of equity, Justice and fairness.

He said: “As Nigerians we all want a country that will accommodate our legitimate desires. We don’t want secession. We want a country that will be driven by the spirit of equity, fairness and justice. We are in a democracy where questions of doubt are resolved through dialogue and not through violence or insurrection.

“The demand of our people is simple: we want a constitution that works for all of us. Our people want a constitution that devolves more powers to the federation unit. A constitution that gives vent to restructuring. The National Assembly should consider a sixth state for the Southeast. The sixth state will go a long way in this regard”.

On his part, the Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, said the review of the constitution is in fulfilment of the provision of the constitution and answer to the calls of Nigerians, to promote peace and unity. He assured: “From the National Assembly, we shall do all that you have asked us to do undiluted”.

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