The government of Nigeria announced Friday that it will be banning Twitter in the country. Ironically, the announcement was made in a tweet.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed also announced the suspension in a statement. He reportedly said “the persistent use of the platform” is “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
As of the time of this report, even the Media Special Assistant to the President Segun Adeyemi still has a Twitter account with over 1500 followers. Even the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has its account still with over 260,000 followers. It is unclear when the ban will go into effect.
Now, Twitter users worldwide are encouraging Nigerians to download virtual private networks, or VPNs, so that they can still use the platform after it’s banned. Lagos-based NGO Gavel condemned the ban.
Soon, VPN was trending worldwide. It topped the trending list in Nigerian Twitter.
Local entrepreneur Olorunshola Emmanuel tweeted a step-by-step tutorial for fellow Nigerians who are unfamiliar with VPNs. It quickly became his most viral tweet.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter, unless you’re in Nigeria and not using a VPN, @jennyjournalism.
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Taliban Holds Parade for 250 Newly Trained Soldiers with American-Made Weapons Left Behind
As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.
On Sunday, Taliban forces held a very bone-chilling parade showing off their captured American-made armored military vehicles and Russian helicopters. The act was “a display that showed their ongoing transformation from an insurgent force to a regular standing army” writes CNN.
The Taliban are no longer terror insurgents fighting against American forces that had once freed Afghanistan from the Taliban. As the result of an ill-prepared withdrawal that went horribly wrong, the Taliban now holds a large stock of weapons and equipment left behind.
The parade was part of a graduation for 250 newly trained Taliban soldiers, said defense ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi. CNN reports, “The exercise involved dozens of US-made M117 armored security vehicles driving slowly up and down a major Kabul road with MI-17 helicopters patrolling overhead. Many soldiers carried American-made M4 assault rifles.”
Tragically, much of the weaponry taunted in the parade by Taliban forces were supplied by the United States to the American-backed government in Kabul during the past two decades. The equipment was to aid an Afghan national force and make it capable of fighting the Taliban.
As forces fled Afghanistan, some of the military equipment provided by western forces was flown into Central Asian Countries in an attempt to avoid it landing in the hands of the Taliban. It remains unclear exactly how much of what did end up in Taliban control is still operational.
American troops destroyed over 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles, as well as disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul during the frenetic evacuation. CNN reports “Taliban officials have said that pilots, mechanics and other specialists from the former Afghan National Army would be integrated into a new force, which has also started wearing conventional military uniforms in place of the traditional Afghan clothing normally worn by their fighters.”
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