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Nigerian Government Lifts Twitter Ban, Nigerians React!

After 7 months of suspended use, the Nigerian government on Wednesday the 12th of January announced that it had lifted the ban on the micro-blogging platform, Twitter effective from Thursday the 13th of January, 12 AM.

The government said that Twitter had agreed to all of her terms and conditions hence its decision to restore its activities in the country.

The head of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi broke the news in a statement saying;

“Twitter has agreed to act with a respectful acknowledgment of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history on which such legislation has been built and work with the FGN [federal government of Nigeria] and the broader industry to develop a code of conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries.”

Among the list of the government’s demands, Twitter agreed to open a local office in the first quarter of 2022, get registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and comply with applicable tax obligations on its operations under Nigerian law, as well as appoint a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities.

The government said that Twitter also agreed to give the government the right to take down any tweet it considers a threat to the nation’s peace and security.

Twitter responded to the suspension of the ban in a tweet promising its commitment to driving civic participation. The Twitter post read;

We are pleased that Twitter has been restored for everyone in Nigeria. Our mission in Nigeria and around the world is to serve the public conversation.

We are deeply committed to Nigeria, where Twitter is used by people for commerce, cultural engagement, and civic participation.

We’re committed to integrating diverse perspectives that make our service better for everyone.

The Nigerian government had placed a ban on the micro-blogging platform in June of 2021 after Twitter took down a tweet by the president issuing a violent threat to South-East secessionists following an attack on public property. The government said the ban was placed because of its “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

Read Also: READ President Buhari’s Letter Refusing Assent to Electoral Act Amendment Bill

The ban was condemned by angered Nigerians as well as diplomats from the EU, UK, Ireland, Norway, and Canada who said the ban undermined the freedom of expression of citizens as well as sent a wrong message to investors. Consequently, the ban cost Nigerian businesses billions of naira.

Nigerians, including opposition politicians, continued to use the platform form, accessing it with the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Following the lift of the ban, many Nigerians expressed relief, and in typical Nigerian style, with a dose of humor. Amid the relief and humor, Nigerians did not fail to recognize the obvious fact that the government’s decision to lift the ban was connected to the forthcoming elections. The current ruling APC harnessed the power of social media influence to install the current President, Muhammadu Buhari.

“With elections a little over a year away, the current ruling party, which ascended to the national stage largely on the back of a successful social media campaign, understands how vital Twitter remains as a public square for accessing, and more importantly, influencing the perspectives of Nigerians.cIt is in that sense that the Twitter ban must be assessed,” said Ikemesit Effiong head of research at SBM Intelligence, a political risk analysis firm in Lagos during an interview with Al Jazeera.

Here are some reactions on the Twitter ban

 

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Search Is On For Kidnapped Actors, Monalisa Chinda Reveals

kidnapped actors

Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda who announced the abduction of Nollywood veteran actors Clemson Cornel and Cynthia Okereke has now revealed that the search is on to rescue to kidnapped actors.

The actress who is also the Director of Communications for the Actor’s Guild of Nigeria (AGN) took to her Instagram page to express concern over the widely-held false notion that Nollywood actors are rich.

“I don’t understand how people would think that Actors have money… with the paltry sum we receive as fees? The struggle through life vicissitudes, health issues etc we face every now n then???” the actress wrote on the Instagram post she made on August 1.

Chinda also revealed that the search was on to rescue the kidnapped entertainers as the phones with which they have been contacting their family members can be traced. “$100k from where? The numbers that was used to communicate with them can easily be traced. I mean.. ???The search is on???@actorsguildofnigeria Let’s keep reposting please,” she added.

A few days ago, veteran Nollywood actress, Hilda Dokubo said that the showy nature of some celebrities which was part of what is required from the show business was the reason why many people erroneously believed that actors were rich. Dokubo equally expressed concern over the USD100,000 demanded by the abductors saying, “Where will we get one hundred thousand USdollars from? God save all of us from this pain and give us your grace for this period. I know some actors paint the wrong picture on social media all the time but it is only in line with the “Show” part of SHOWbiz. Hopefully, you’ll understand what I mean.”

The kidnapped actors Clemson Cornel and Cynthia Okereke were both returning from a movie set at Ozala of Enugu State on July 29 when they were ambushed by their abductors. Chinda in her statement released to the press said that the National President of the Guild, Ejezie Emeka Rollas had called on all actors to be more security conscious while commuting for work. Rollas “instructed all Actors to avoid going to the outskirt of cities to film except full security cover is provided to ensure their safety.”

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Organ Harvesting – UK Court Grants Bail To Ekweremadu’s Wife But Denies Ike

Beatrice Ekweremadu

Sequel to Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice’s appearance at the Old Bailey court on Friday, 22nd July for a bail hearing, Judge Richard Marks who is presiding over the case has granted bail to Beatrice Ekweremadu but remanded Ike in custody

The former deputy Senate President and current Senator representing Enugu-West was arrested alongside his wife Beatrice at Heathrow airport on June 23, on allegations of a plot to fly a man to the UK against his will and have his organs harvested for their sick daughter. The couple is charged under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Judge Marks, the Common Serjeant of London on Friday said he was releasing Beatrice only with her adherence to fairly stringent conditions. “The position is that I have granted bail to Beatrice subject to some fairly stringent conditions, but I have refused bail to Ike,” Mark said.

After their arrest in June last month by the London Met Police, the couple appeared in court where it was ruled that they both be remanded in custody while the appropriate authorities proceed with further investigations. The Ekweremadus were brought in after the boy whose organs they plotted to harvest opened up to medical personnel at the Royal Free Hospital (where he was being prepared for the surgery) that he was unwilling to consent. Authorities immediately moved to safely secure him before moving in on the alleged culprits.

The boy has been identified as a certain David Ukpo, a 21-year-old whose age was initially declared as 15 years old. Ukpo is said to be a homeless orphan in Lagos and was brought to the UK against in will for the purpose of harvesting his kidney for Ekweremadu’s daughter who is battling kidney failure.

Investigations have led to the arrest of Dr. Obinna Obeta A Nigerian, UK-based doctor living in Southwark in south London. Obeta has been accused of conspiring with the Ekweremadus and helping to facilitate the travel of Ukpo to the UK.

The next court hearing is scheduled for August 4, 2022.

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Nollywood Actress Ada Ameh Has Passed On

Ada Ameh

Popular Nollywood actress Ada Ameh is dead. She was 48 years old.

Her death has been confirmed by the Actors Guild of Nigeria president, Emeka Rollas. Though Rollas did not give details regarding Ameh’s cause of death, several online sources say that Ameh collapsed while attending a function in Warri, Delta State.

The said function is said to have been hosted by a renowned oil magnate and his family and Ameh was one of the attendants until she suddenly slumped. Sources say she was immediately rushed to the NNPC hospital in Warri but was confirmed dead by doctors upon arrival.

In the weeks leading up to her sad demise, Ada Ameh opened up about her struggles with mental health problems. She shared a video on her Instagram page telling fans about her ill health but retaining a positive note that she was going to fight and recover.

“Everything is going to be fine. I have an issue right now and it is taking my life. I nor go die. We will get over it, we will get over it,” the actress said in the video.

She also added that the illness not only cost her a job but put her at loggerheads with her employers. “I was given a job and I didn’t do the job because I had mental issues. Would people understand when you say you have mental issues? They won’t. They are slamming me with a bill, suing me, it’s okay,” she said.

A few weeks later, her colleague and friend Empress Njamah posted a short clip on her Instagram to update fans about Ameh’s health. Njamah asked that more prayers be made for Ameh who was seen in the video lying beside Njamah.

Ada Ameh was said to have plunged into depression after losing her only daughter to a surgery gone wrong in 2020. She had the child in her teens out of wedlock.

Ameh had a career that spanned over 20 years and was revered for her comedic and melodramatic portrayals. After her breakout in 1996 with the movie, Domitila, she next became known for playing the mother to the comedic duo Aki and Paw Paw. More recently, Ameh was best known for playing Emu, the matriarch of the Johnsons family in the acclaimed Africa Magic TV series,  The Johnsons.

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