Just like #EndSARS, Nigerians have used Twitter to mobilize citizens to come out and protest against poor governance in the country.
June 12 is Democracy Day in the country of over 200 million people. Nigerians choose the day to call their government to account.
Ravaged by insecurity, poor healthcare system, rising food cost and out-of-control unemployment, over 70 per cent of its youth population are demanding better governance and conditions of living.
The country banned Twitter on June 4 after the microblogging site deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened the Igbos with civil war. Many termed the president’s tweet genocidal and reported it.
Since the ban, Nigerians have continued to use Twitter by bypassing it through virtual private networks (VPNs). And it is that same VPNs that has propelled the global trend of #June12Protest.
The Nigerian government said Twitter has been used to destabilise the country, a veiled reference to #EndSARS, when millions of Nigerians protested against a notorious police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) in October last year.
Observers believe the EndSARS, which was mobilised via Twitter, put the government in an awkward position and have since pitted it against the social network site.
But, rather than silence them after banning the ban, they’ve become emboldened and more daring by continuing to use Twitter despite threats of arrest by the country’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami.
“The government banned Twitter thinking, among others, that a protest like today’s won’t hold. But it did.
Proof that bad governance – – not Twitter – – is the problem,” FG really scored an own goal by banning tweeter in Nigeria. Because VPN, the protest is trending No.1 in most countries!!
The #June12Protest hashtag trended across the globe. In London, protesters were seen on the streets. Afghan Twitter users reported that the hashtag was a top trend on their timeline.
“Lol daft Nigerian govt. The whole world would not have been able to witness this protest if twitter wasn’t banned , so thanks to the govt, #June12thProtest is trending in the US and various other Countries… It’s like to see them stop this…They Messed With The Wrong Generation,” Odukoya Isaac said.
Many believe the use of VPN projected the trend to the top across countries of the world.
“FG really scored an own goal by banning tweeter in Nigeria. Because VPN, the protest is trending No.1 in most countries!!, @Kendroidglobal said.
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