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Nigerian Press Freedom Is in Danger of Being Extinguished

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Koo, Twitter's Indian competitor, has just started advertising to Nigerians, backed by a strong brand ambassador: President Muhammadu Buhari. The endorsement comes more than two months after Buhari banned Twitter in Nigeria in reaction to the social media firm removing a provocative post from Buhari threatening violence against followers of a southeast separatist movement. The endorsement of certain media businesses is the latest step in the government's continuous campaign to stifle free speech. The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Nigeria's media regulating authority, sent a letter to Nigerian broadcast stations last month directing them to minimize the country's deteriorating security situation, especially the danger posed by Boko Haram and banditry. NBC defended its stance by claiming that reporting on these problems has a propensity to incite more violence. This argument would be plausible if the government had not been gradually eroding free speech rights.