Nigeria Twitter Ban: Why Jack Dorsey is unfazed

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By Prince Osuagwu

Five days after the federal government banned Twitter activities in the country, the microblogging platform is still unfazed and carries on as if nothing has happened. It has neither issued an official statement nor allowed its officials to entertain discussions around the ban.

The ban which the Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said was necessary because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, has attracted hue and cry from prominent Nigerians who feel the action was an attack on free speech.

Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Babajide Sanwo Olu of Lagos, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Paradigm Initiatives of Nigeria, PIN, and SERAP are among notable people and organizations that have condemned the ban.


Background of the issue was set at a town hall meeting convened by INEC with relevant stakeholders, to examine the likely effects of the activities of arsonists who have targeted several offices, facilities and equipment of INEC, particularly in the South East. President Buhari, had in response to the agitations for Biafra by IPOB activists, said: "Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

The video of the statement circulated round with many people giving it different interpretations, mostly pointing to a veiled reference to the civil war that claimed millions of lives particularly in that part of the country.

Apparently relying on its safety rule which states: “Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence,” Twitter on June 2, deleted the post on its site.

In what many have described as retaliation, the federal government on May 4, suspended Twitter operations in Nigeria.

Since that action, the country’s economy, according to has lost over N10 billion.

The platform said it relied on booking institution methods which relied on development indicators, approximated digital economy extent of 0.05 and classic free app GDP impact technique to arrive at its conclusion.

Being an artificial intelligent, AI- based study, Netblocks is popular and its statistics are almost perfect at all times.

Also, several small scale businesses, social media influencers whose services are heavily reliant on twitter, have continued to groan under the weight of economic meltdown.

However, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, is yet to say a word. His disposition to the ban is predictable going by twitter’s statistics in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Twitter users are estimated at 40 million. Considering the size of the country, at 200 million people, twitter users constitute less than a quarter of the country. Again, in the social media Market Share, Twitter is not the biggest shareholder in Nigeria. In fact, it plays second fiddle to Facebook.

As at May 2021 Twitter has a market share of 25.52 percent in Nigeria as against Facebook’s 56.46 percent. It only managed to get ahead of Pinterest at 7.83 percent, Instagram at 5.25 percent YouTube at 3.41 percent and LinkedIn at 0.86 percent.

In a sharp contrast, former president of United States of America, USA, Donald Trump has over 88.9 million twitter followers, towering above Nigeria’s numbers by over 48 million.

Donald Trump’s presence on social media attracted attention worldwide since he joined Twitter in May 2009. He frequently tweeted during the 2016 election campaign and as president he popularized Twitter’s status.

From the creation of his account in 2009 until December 2020 Trump tweeted around 57,000 times, including more than 25,000 times during his presidency.

In fact, Trump’s tweets were considered “official statements made by the President of the United States.”

Trump’s tweets deleted

Incidentally, in January 2021, Twitter deleted some of his tweets viewed to have violated its rules, and also went ahead to suspend him from the platform indefinitely.

If Trump with such huge following could be removed from twitter, and the company’s revenues still stand strong, there is little wonder why Jack Dorsey appears unperturbed with the development in Nigeria.

More-so, other key statistics to the growth of twitter do not also appear to show that Nigeria is a force to reckon with.

Although the minority of Nigerians using Twitter, still form part of the most vocal and politically active segment of the population, it does not translate to much revenue to Twitter. Many young people have used Twitter and other social media recently to organize anti-government protests. And, Nigeria has been among the best-performing African countries in attracting investments for technology start-up business, but from market share statistics, twitter is not much of s beneficiary.

In terms of advert revenue, Twitter does depend more on companies outside Africa. The US alone generates revenue for the company more than the rest countries of the world put together.

The world vs US on twitter

In 2018 Twitter made $1.6 billion from the US as against the $1.4 billion it made from the rest of the world. In 2019 the US alone dropped $1.9 billion into its coffers, when the rest of the world added $1.5 billion to its wealth.

In 2020 the US market made Twitter richer with $2 billion when the rest of the world brought in $1.6 billion.

With this statistics, Twitter would be more concerned if the American government threatens its corporate existence than when Nigeria does. Twitter has 186 million daily active users and 38 million users are from the United States alone.

Twitter’s Yearly Revenue

Twitter generated $0.3 billion 2012, $0.6 billion in 2013, $1.4 billion in 2014, $2.2 billion in 2015, $2.5 billion in 2016, $2.4 billion in 2017, $3 billion in 2018, $3.4 billion in 2019 and $3.7 billion in 2020It enjoys an 8.8 percent increase year-on-year and 86 percent of its revenue came from advertising.


Case of the criminal accusing its victim as 75 so-called Northern groups place N100m bounty on Nnamdi Kanu

The ESN was set up by Nnamdi Kanu in response to the terrorist Fulani Herdsmen from the North

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A coalition of 75 Northern groups, on the platform of Northern Consensus Movement, has announced a reward of N100 million for persons who can produce the supreme leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, for the continuation of his trial for alleged treason.

The groups, which disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Thursday evening, accused Kanu and the Eastern Security Network (IPOB’s militia wing) of masterminding the recent spate of attacks on Northern communities in the Southeast via what they called ‘hate speech’.

Dr. Awwal Abdullahi Aliyu, who spoke on behalf of the Coalition, urged the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the European Union to facilitate Nnamdi Kanu’s repatriation to Nigeria to face the charges against him.

Aliyu said, “The Northern Consensus Movement, an amalgamation of more than 75 civil society groups of Northern extraction, has taken it upon ourselves, as active citizens of this country, Nigeria, to state in unequivocal terms that:

“We are declaring Nnamdi Kanu wanted for crimes against humanity and for instigating the killing of innocent Northerners in the southeast via his hate speech.

“We want him to answer for the killing and destruction of Northerners residing and undertaking lawful businesses in the southeastern part of Nigeria.

“So, we are placing a bounty of N100m as an offer to anyone who can produce him alive, hale, hearty, and uninjured to us for onward delivery to the security agencies for the continuation of his prosecution.

“We call on both the US, the UK, and the EU, a champions of democracy, rule of law, and freedoms of speech and expression to kindly and humble respect Nigeria’s sovereignty and facilitate the repatriation of Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria.

“This is so he can face his treason, and possibly fresh terrorism and genocide charges against innocent citizens of Nigeria.”


Netanyahu uses last speech as prime minister to attack Biden on Iran

Photo Illustrator: Aïda Amer/Axios. Pics: Horacio Villalobos (Corbis), Michele Sandberg (Corbis), Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

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Barak Ravid

Hours before a vote to oust him, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Biden of endangering Israel's security by taking a soft line on Iran, and claimed the man who is about to replace him, Naftali Bennett, would be too weak to stand up to Washington.

Why it matters: Netanyahu had waged a desperate but apparently unsuccessful campaign to stop a "change coalition" from joining together to replace him after an inconclusive election in March. Facing an imminent demotion to opposition leader, he foreshadowed a willingness to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship to put his rival under pressure.

"He decided to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship for his own personal interests and is trying to leave scorched earth for the incoming government."

Senior Israeli diplomat on Netanyahu

Driving the news: Bennett, a right-wing former tech entrepreneur, will lead the most ideologically diverse coalition in Israeli history, with its members united by little more than a desire to remove Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption and battled through what seemed like a never ending cycle of elections over the past two years.

  • Bennett spoke before Netanyahu, but as he was trying to present his platform, allies of Netanyahu continuously interrupted him with shouts of "liar" and "fraud."

  • Bennett took a hard line on the Iran deal in his speech, saying it was a mistake in 2015 and remains one today. He also thanked Biden for his support for Israel, stressed that he wants good relations with both parties in Washington, and drew a contrast with Netanyahu by promising that any disagreements with Biden will be managed with "mutual trust and respect."

  • Bennett's coalition partner, centrist Yair Lapid, forwent his opportunity to speak next, citing the interruptions during Bennett's speech, which he said were a disgrace.

Then Netanyahu rose to speak. He accused Bennett of being weak and untrustworthy (noting that he'd broken a campaign pledge by forming a government with Lapid), and said his protege-turned-rival would refuse to stand up to Biden on Iran.

  • Netanyahu claimed that the Biden administration had asked him to keep their disagreements on Iran private, but that he refused to do so, valuing his hard line on Iran over smooth relations with the U.S.

  • Netanyahu positioned himself as the only man standing between Iran and an arsenal of nuclear weapons, and claimed Iranians were celebrating his departure. He also compared Biden's Iran policy to the refusal of the U.S. to bomb the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944.

  • He also said he'd rejected U.S. demands to freeze settlement construction and opposed Biden's plan to reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, which handled relations with the Palestinians before being shut down by Donald Trump. Again, he claimed Bennett lacked the stature or credibility to take similar stands.

Between the lines: Despite Bennett's right-wing politics and hardline positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, many senior officials in the Biden administration will be be happy to see the end of Netanyahu's tenure.

What's next: The Bennett-Lapid power-sharing government faces a confidence vote late on Sunday.

  • Netanyahu vowed to bring the "dangerous" government down, and "much sooner than you think."


England make winning start at Euro 2020 as Sterling sinks Croatia

Getty Images

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Raheem Sterling ignited England's Euro 2020 campaign as the Manchester City forward's clinical finish sealed a 1-0 win against Croatia in their Group D opener on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate's side were struggling to break down Croatia until Sterling struck in the second half at sun-baked Wembley.

The 26-year-old's first goal at a major tournament -- in his 13th game -- was the perfect riposte to critics who questioned Southgate's decision to select him instead of Jack Grealish.

Sterling has endured a chequered relationship with England fans after being hounded following his tame performances at Euro 2016.

He also struggled to hold down a place with Premier League champions City this term, culminating in his lacklustre display in their Champions League final defeat against Chelsea.

But, days after he was given an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his anti-racism campaigning, Sterling enjoyed a perfectly-timed moment of redemption.

In a rematch of the 2018 World Cup semi-final won by Croatia, England were hampered by a lack of cutting edge until Sterling came to the rescue.

Sterling's winner eased the tension at Wembley and got fans bellowing 'Football's coming home' in the hope England can emulate their run to the semi-finals when they hosted Euro 96, and maybe even win a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup.

In truth, this was a far from convincing performance, but Southgate will take heart from the way his team kept their nerve on a pressure-packed occasion.

England host neighbours Scotland in their second Group D match on Friday before taking on the Czech Republic in their final game of the first stage on June 22.

After England were booed for taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before their friendlies against Austria and Romania in Middlesbrough, there were fears fans at Wembley would turn on the team as well.

There were a smattering of boos from sections of the 22,500 crowd, but the majority cheered the gesture this time.

It was Southgate's surprise decision to select Kalvin Phillips that attracted most pre-match attention.

But it proved an inspired move as, along with Sterling, the Leeds midfielder was England's most accomplished performer.

- England hold firm -

Manchester City forward Phil Foden, his hair bleached blond, has drawn comparisons with England legend Paul Gascoigne, who sported the same eye-catching hair cut during Euro 96.

Foden was inches away from giving England the perfect start in the sixth minute with the kind of magic that made Gascoigne so beloved.

Collecting Sterling's pass on the edge of the area, Foden worked space to curl his left-footed shot off the far post.

Phillips was quickly into his stride and forced Dominik Livakovic to make a scrambling save with his strike from the edge of the area.

But Southgate's men showed signs of running out of ideas after their early flurry failed to yield a goal.

Southgate had picked Foden, Sterling and Mason Mount as the creative forces behind Harry Kane.

With that quartet still struggling to unhinge Croatia into the second half, fans began chanting for the introduction of Aston Villa playmaker Grealish.

But Sterling quelled the mounting anxiety as England struck in the 57th minute.

Phillips was the catalyst as he burst forward past two Croatians and slipped a deft pass behind the defensive line.

Sterling arrived just ahead of his lunging marker and slotted a low shot past Livakovic from 10 yards.

Kane was denied in painful fashion when he crashed into the post after Duje Caleta-Car made a superb block to keep out his close-range effort.

Mount fired a free-kick narrowly over but England went on the defensive in the closing stages.

In the absence of the injured Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and John Stones were up to the task as England's centre-backs held firm to clinch a victory in their opening European Championship game for the first time.


GOP Senator Confronts HHS Secretary on ‘Birthing People’ Phrase: ‘Mom Is a Pretty Good Word’

President Joe Biden 

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Caroline Downey

Oklahoma senator James Lankford (R.) confronted Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra Thursday over the department’s replacement of “mothers” with the term “birthing people.”

Lankford challenged Becerra to defend the phrase during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget, according to a press release from Lankford’s office. The senator questioned him about the “language in the President’s proposed budget regarding maternal health that referred to ‘birthing people’ instead of mothers even though the science is clear that women give birth.”

“I also noticed you changed a term in your budget work. You shifted from using the term ‘mother’ to ‘birthing people’ rather than mother. Can you help me get a good definition of ‘birthing people?'” Lankford asked.

The HHS secretary paused and failed to offer a concise response, claiming he had to “check on the language.”

“But I think if we’re talking about those who give birth, I think we’re talking about . . . I don’t know how else to explain it to you other than [that],” he continued.

Lankford retorted that “the language is important always.” “Would you at least admit that calling a mom a ‘birthing person’ could be offensive . . . that they don’t want to get a ‘Happy birthing person card’ in May? Can you at least admit that term itself could be offensive to some moms?” he added.

Becerra said he would need to refer to the “terminology that was used.” His comments come after Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shalanda Young doubled-down on the Biden budget proposal’s use of “birthing people,” insisting it’s more inclusive and equitable, at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

“There are certain people who do not have gender identities that apply to female and male, so we think our language needs to be more inclusive on how we deal with complex issues,” she remarked.

“Our official policy is to make sure that when people get service from their government that they feel included, and we’re trying to use inclusive language,” Young concluded.

National Review


We will hunt down Igangan killers — Agbekoya warriors

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Dapo Akinrefon & Shina Abubakar

THE Agbekoya Farmers Society of Nigeria, yesterday, said it is on the trail of eight suspected Fulani herdsmen who were involved in the killing of no fewer than 20 people in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State and other towns in the South-West.

It also dissociated itself from a 21-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government over the killings in Igangan, describing the ultimatum as fake.

This came as the Army, Police and Joint Task Force embarked on a show of force, following cult-related killings and other insecurity challenges in Osun State. Reacting to an ultimatum issued to the Federal Government over the killing of the 20 people, Agbekoya described those who issued the ultimatum as fake and impostors.

In a statement by its President and National Publicity Secretary, Messrs Kamorudeen Okikiola and Olatunji Bandele, the farmers’ society said it has launched a manhunt to track down and arrest the leaders of the criminal Fulani herdsmen who perpetrated the dastardly act of merciless killings, burning of houses and the palace of the traditional ruler of Igangan.

The statement reads: “Agbekoya Farmers Society has not given an ultimatum to the Federal Government and we dissociate our association from this fake news by impostors.

Agbekoya is already working assiduously underground and we have mobilized our warriors to hunt for the leaders of the criminal Fulani herdsmen who masterminded the merciless killings of our people in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

“We decry the lackadaisical, irresponsive and nonchalant attitude of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agents who were supposed to have acted fast to prevent the recent massacre in Igangan in Ibarapa area of Oyo State where many lives and property were lost despite intelligence reports and information about the reprisal attack given to the security agents.

“The security agents have not been cooperating with the self-determination groups like Agbekoya, OPC, and the hunters who have been assisting them in reducing insecurity in the South-West, rather the security agents have been intimidating and harassing members of Agbekoya, OPC and hunters who can assist them in combing the villages and porous border routes in Southwest.

“Our men in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun areas of Oyo State are already combing the various communities and villages, especially the porous borders in Oke Ogun area, Kaima, Idere, Ibarapa, Ijio, Aiyegun, and Komu. The Agbekoya Farmers Society warriors have also launched a search for suspected criminal Fulani leaders who led the merciless killings and Agbekoya will not relent until the eight suspects are arrested and brought to book.”

Army, Police, JTF patrol streets in Osun

Meanwhile, patrol vehicles, involving personnel of the Nigerian Army, Police, JTF and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, moved around the state capital as early as 8 am.

The team, blaring siren, moved through Dele Yes sir roundabouts through Oke-Fia to Old Garage before heading towards Ayetoro to Powerline area. When contacted, Osun police Command spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola said the joint patrol is a message to miscreants who might be planning to disrupt peace across the state.

Also, the Special Adviser to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Security, Mrs. Abiodun Ige said the patrol is a show of force to assure residents that government would not tolerate any act of disruption from anybody.

Ige said: “It is a normal show of strength, we are just trying to make sure we do everything possible to secure the lives of the citizens of the state and also to tell the people that nobody can just start or do things under the claim that they are free to do whatever they like. Everybody should know that the situation in the country is tensed. We should just go about our business without fear.”



Caitlyn Jenner says tents in Beverly Hills are the latest sign of the homelessness crisis because they used to only be downtown

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By Sarah Al-Arshani

California GOP gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner said the presence of tents in Beverly Hills is the latest sign of the state's homelessness crisis.

"When you drive in Beverly Hills and you look at the park, and there's tents in the park, we have to look at that issue very seriously," Jenner said in an interview on the Fox LA show "The Issue Is" that aired Friday.

Jenner said homelessness is a top concern for Californians.

"But to be honest with you on a big picture, living in a tent in a park in Beverly Hills, it's just different today. Before, the homeless were all downtown. I'm sure you've been downtown. I mean, you walk down there, and it's just like so tough, so difficult on these people," Jenner said.

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $12 billion proposal to fund affordable housing and increase social services that would help move people off the streets. If approved, the plan would provide housing for 65,000 people and stabilize housing for thousands more.

Jenner is running to unseat Newsom in a special recall election after a GOP-led effort to challenge the governor collected enough signatures. She said it's difficult to build affordable housing in the state because of too many regulations, specifically citing the California Environmental Quality Act as an issue.

Jenner said she would relax environmental restrictions in order to streamline building permits and work with charitable groups to increase affordable housing.

Jenner, a former Olympian and reality TV star, has no prior political experience, but said her experience in business makes her qualified to be governor.

"I have been in the entrepreneurial world," she said. "People think - you've been in show business, think of you as a reality star. Certainly, I've done that, but entertainment is a business, and you have to run that business."

Last month, Jenner was accused of being out of touch after she suggested support for public transportation was unnecessary while making repeated references to her private jet during an interview with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

"Here's my crazy thinking. We are now spending billions of dollars on this high-speed rail, OK, and they talk about it all the time, between LA and San Francisco. And I'm going, 'Why are we doing that?' I can get on a plane at LAX, and I'll be in San Francisco in 50 minutes. Why do we need high-speed rail?" Jenner said, referring to an ongoing project intended to transport travelers from Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Francisco in under three hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider


Crypto will ‘come to life’ in Nigeria, central bank governor says

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By Helen Partz

Emefiele said the Nigerian government will do its best to prevent crypto from being used to finance illicit activities.

At a 279th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee in Abuja, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele expressed confidence that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) will be legal in the country, Business Insider reported late last week..

Emefiele did not directly mention a decision to reverse the CBN’s February ban of institutions from buying and selling crypto but noted that the bank has been investigating the industry:

“We are committed in the CBN, and I can assure everybody that digital currency will come to life even in Nigeria [...] Under cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, Nigeria comes 2nd, while on the global side of the economy, Nigeria comes 27th. We are still conducting our investigation, and we will make our data available.”

Emefiele also said the Nigerian government will do its best to prevent crypto from being used to finance illicit activities. “We found out that a substantial percentage of our people are getting involved in cryptocurrency, which is not the best. Don’t get me wrong, some may be legitimate, but most are illegitimate,” he said.

The banker also expressed concerns over the crypto market crash in mid-May, which has been largely attributed to Tesla’s decision to suspend Bitcoin payments for its cars and Elon Musk’s further criticism of BTC:

“We saw the market collapse. Initially, when Elon Musk tweeted around the time when we said our banking and payment facilities are no longer available for cryptocurrency transactions, and he tweeted that he will invest $1.5 billion, and the price went up. He now tweeted and raised a few concerns, and the thing plunged.”

The CBN did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

As previously reported, Nigeria has emerged as the biggest source of Bitcoin trading volume in Africa as of August 2020, also becoming one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in the world. According to data from Bitcoin P2P marketplace Paxful, Nigeria ranked second only to the United States in trading volume as of December 2020.

Amid the growing adoption of Bitcoin, Nigeria’s national currency, the naira, has been falling. “Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless,” Senator Sani Musa of the Niger East Senatorial District said in February. Following Emefiele’s latest remarks, the naira dropped 1.2% to near a three-and-half year low on the black market at the close of the week.