The Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Monday, announced the deactivation of his Twitter account.
“My Twitter account deactivated,” the minister captioned a screenshot of his Twitter deactivation page in a Facebook post.
Commentators under the post questioned the minister how he accessed his Twitter page despite the ban. Others criticised Mr Malami for alleged violation of their constitutional rights.
His action followed the indefinite suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the federal government last week over allegations that the company was a threat to Nigeria’s “corporate existence.”
The government ordered telecommunication companies to block their subscribers from accessing the site, an order the internet service providers complied with shortly after.
Pressed by the urge to bypass the government’s controversial order, Nigerians began to download Virtual Private Network, a software that allows internet users to change their browsing location.
Mr Malami thereafter released a statement saying defaulters would be charged to court, an argument lawyers faulted, saying unless the directive was codified, it was flat before the law.
When asked what law violators would be charged with, Mr Malami’s office said “federal government law.”
Critics have said the order was not well thought out and was unconstitutional, but the government has insisted that it was doing so for public good.
The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has also ordered broadcast stations to deactivate their Twitter accounts, an order that has been heavily criticised.
Despite public outcry, the Nigerian government has doubled down on its order and it insisted that the ban will be lifted only when “responsible communication” was guaranteed on the platform.
Mr Malami has now joined First Lady Aisha Buhari as few government officials that have obeyed their own directive.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s four million followers page as well as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo are among those whose accounts have not been deactivated.
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