President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and 98 other individual Nigerians and organisations may lose 160,289,500 followers on account of Federal Government’s ban on Twitter, according to figures obtained on Saturday.
But the organisation appeared unperturbed by the ban, offering to help its Nigeria-based users to bypass the ban.
It said it had commenced efforts to restore access to its platform for Nigerians following the blocking of access to it by telecommunication companies in the country.
Many Nigerians immediately sought an alternative route via Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Downloading the VPN app appeared difficult on Saturday.
Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami warned that violators of the ban would be prosecuted, even as more condemnations trailed the Twitter suspension.
The United States yesterday told the Federal Government that its suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria is capable of sending wrong signals to investors and businesses.
The Presidency, in its first comment on the temporary ban last night, dismissed suggestions that it was in response to the social media’s recent deletion of Buhari’s tweets.
According to Rosbena.com, Buhari with 3 million followers and Osinbajo with 2.6 million rank among the 100 leading crowd pullers on Twitter.
The others include ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; a former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki; the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote; ace Musician David Adedeji Adeleke (Davido); a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Temi Otedola; another highly rated musician, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (Wizkid) and the winner of Grammy’s Best Global Music Award, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu (Burna Boy).
The suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria may also deny some Nigerians and institutions robust following.
These include the Presidency, the Nigeria Police Force, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Army, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; Pastor Sam Adeyemi; a former Vice President of the World Bank Dr. Oby Ezekwesili; Sen. Dino Melaye; Sen. Shehu Sani and Femi Fani-Kayode.
According to investigation by Rosbena.com, the identified 100 top Nigerians have dominated Twitter in the country.
The link says: “Rosbena compiles the list of most followed Nigerian accounts on Twitter.
“Unlike the most followed Nigerian accounts on Instagram which comprise mostly musicians and actresses, the list of most followed Nigerian Twitter accounts comprises mainly musicians, politicians, radio stations, newspapers and banks.
The breakdown of some of the 100 ranked accounts and their followers is as follows: President Muhammadu Buhari (3m); Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (2.6m); Bukola Saraki (2m); Davido (6.8m); Aliko Dangote (880,200); Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun aka Wizkid (6.3m); Don Jazzy (4.5m); Tiwa Savage (3.9m); Channels Television (3.7m); Burna Boy (3.2m); Dapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj (3.1m); Olamide Gbenga Adedeji aka Olamide (3.1m); Banky W. Banky (2.9m); Peter P-Square (2.5m); Ice Prince Zamani (2.4m); Ali Baba (858,600); and Genevieve Nnaji (2.1m).
Others are musician Simi (2.1m); Wande Coal (1.9m); Comedian Basketmouth (1.9m); Blogger Linda Ikeji (1.9m); Governor Nasir el-Rufai(1.7m); Presidency of Nigeria (1.7m); Tony Elumelu (1m); Sen. Dino Melaye (1.6m); INEC (1.5m); D.J. Cuppy (1.5m); Nigeria Police Force (1.2m); EFCC (904,300); Temi Otedola (1.2m) Sen. Shehu Sani (1.2m); Pastor Enoch Adeboye (1.1m); WTO Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala (1.1m); Oby Ezekwesili (1m); Funke Akindele (1m); the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu (978,300); and a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (956,200).