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Presidency, CBN, EFCC others return to Twitter

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As the Federal Government lifted its seven months ban on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, several government agencies, including the handle dedicated to the Presidency, have returned to the platform with welcome messages to celebrate their return. Aside from political banters and trolling, Twitter has been the most vibrant platform for spreading critical information and communication of government policies and citizens’ engagement. Until the ban on June 5, all government agencies were using the platform to engage with millions of Nigerians on a daily basis.

Top among government handles that have returned to twitter immediately after the ban was lifted is the official handle of the Presidency @NGRPresident. Thehandle marked its return by tweeting about the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ogun State to commission some projects. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also resumed tweeting today, saying “it’s good to be back.”

Other agencies of the government such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) have also returned to the platform with tweets of their various activities. While President Buhari’s handlewithoverfourmillion followers remained inactive as of the time of filing this report, the President’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, has returnedtotheplatformwith a ‘welcome back’ message to Nigerians.“Letmejoinfellow countrymen and women in welcoming the resolution of theimpassebetweentheFederal Government of Nigeria and Twitter Inc., leading to thelayingof a”foundationfor a mutually beneficial future with endless possibilities.” “I join the leaders of government in appreciating all Nigerians, “especially the vibrant Nigerian youths who havebornewiththelongwait to resolve this impasse,” and as thegovernmentstatement clearly says, the gains made from this shared national sacrifice are immeasurable. “We hope that this is appreciated by all. The nation comes first. Once again, welcome back!” the Senior SpecialAssistanttothePresident on Media and Publicity tweeted. However, responding to the welcome message, many Twitter users said the government had only banned itself as they had continued to use Twitterdespite the ban. Recall that many Nigerians had resorted totheuseof Virtual Private Network (VPN) whichallowedthemtoaccess thesite, althoughwithforeign IP addresses. Someof theTwitterusers also insisted that the ban was unnecessary, adding that the decision was taken to silence Nigerian youths. According to them, Twitter had not met any of the conditions set by the government, but the ban was lifted because the 2023 elections were fast approaching.




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