Donald Trump’s new social media app started a gradual rollout late Sunday and should be “fully operational” by late March, potentially raising the former president’s profile more than a year after he was banned by major platforms.
“This week, we will begin to roll out to people on the Apple App store,” said Devin Nunes, CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), parent company of the new app Truth Social.
The former Republican congressman was speaking Sunday on conservative Fox News.
“I think, by the end of March, we’re going to be fully operational — at least within the United States,” added Nunes, who resigned from the US House to lead the Trump group.
Trump has described Truth Social as an alternative to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all of which banned him following the assault on the US Capitol by his supporters on January 6, 2021.
The former president has been accused of inciting his followers to use force in a bid to overturn the result of the 2020 election.
On Sunday, the App Store was allowing visitors to pre-order Truth Social starting Monday, the Presidents Day holiday in the United States.
Later Sunday, the app was reported as available to some of those who had pre-ordered.
“It’s actually very moving for me to see people that are on the platform that have had their voice canceled,” Nunes said.
‘The Truth Is Coming’
“We want (customers) to tell us what they would like to have on the platform, which is the opposite of some Silicon Valley tech oligarch freak telling people what they want to think and deciding who can or cannot be on the platform,” he said.
Trump and his wife Melania Trump also plan on Monday to offer for sale 10,000 NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, illustrating key moments in the Trump presidency. NFTs are certified digital images that can be bought and sold.
“TRUTH is coming…” congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, tweeted Friday, in an allusion to the ominous “Winter is coming” catchphrase of television series “Game of Thrones.”
She posted a screen grab of her message on Truth Beta, the test version of the new site, saying, “I’m so excited to be on TRUTH!”
And Donald Trump Jr. celebrated on Twitter, posting, “Time for some Truth!!!” and including what he said was his father’s first post on Truth Social: “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!”
TMTG, asked for comment by AFP, did not immediately respond.
The group reportedly has a $1.25 billion treasure chest as it seeks a niche in a crowded conservative social-media marketplace, currently served by platforms such as Gettr, Parler and Gab.
Before being banned by Twitter, Trump had some 89 million followers there and used the platform constantly, both for presidential statements and to attack rivals.
Trump, who is 75, has hinted but never definitively said whether he will seek the presidency again.
He is currently under the shadow of multiple investigations and lawsuits, including over his tax filings and his efforts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Southwest Zone D has threatened to shut down all international airports over the failure of the Nigerian government to address the lingering strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other staff unions.
Coordinator of the NANS Zone D, Adegboye Olatunji in a statement said the students had waited long enough for the government to resolve the crisis.
He added that students would take the bull by the horns and no longer keep quiet, pointing out that President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on the crisis could ruin their future.
The statement read, “It is timely and urgent to address this press conference today with a view to putting an end to the long lingering strike action of ASUU and ASUP (Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics), a total reformation of the educational sector.
“The Leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students Southwest (Zone D) in conjunction with the National Association of University Students Southwest (NAUS) has taken it upon herself to categorically stand against the dilapidated state of the educational sector in Nigeria.
“We are at a time when Nigerian Students have lost hope and do not know what’s next on the radar. ASUU strike has been on for over 3 months without forgetting the ASUP warning strike of 2 weeks.
“We have also waited for long to see if the Federal Government will dance to the music of Nigerian students who have been clamouring for an end to the ASUU strike but the reverse is the case. We’ve had several press conferences, granted several interviews, and held several meetings to plead with both ASUU and Federal Government. Our future is been jeopardised. We’re in a country where age is a key factor in labour market.
“Aviation unions gave a 2-day warning strike on shut down of flight operations. A meeting was scheduled by the Federal Government and strike action was called off in less than 24hours because the first-class citizens would be affected. But it is so obvious that none of them is affected by ASUU/ASUP Strike. They have their children all over the world enjoying a smooth educational system.
“On Monday, May 16th, 2022, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris was arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds of at least N80 Billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Where is the integrity of the government preaching against corruption? How much of the public funds would have settled the educational sector and put an end to the yearly ASUU/ASUP Strike action.
“For so long, ASUU/ASUP strike has been ongoing and the Federal Government has not been showing concern through the Minister of Education.
“We are ready to take the bull by the horns as Nigerian students will not keep silent and watch our future being ruined by the prolonged ASUU/ASUP Strike.
“According to the Commandment of Solidarity, we’re on the last C of ALUTA which is Confrontation. This is the time to call on all Nigerian students across all zones to come out in mass to take over all international airports in the country. Nigerian students are tired of the long-overdue strike action.
“The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students Southwest (Zone D) in conjunction with the National Association of University Students (NAUS) hereby declares a massive protest to shut down all international airports in Nigeria. We must state categorically to the Federal Government that all activities shall be shut down by over twenty-two million five hundred and twenty-seven (22,575,000) Nigerian students across Southwest Nigeria until ASUU / ASUP Strike is called off totally.”
VIDEO: Tension as Okada riders, policemen clash in Lagos
There is tension in the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos over an attempt by policemen to enforce the state government ban on the operation of commercial motorcycle operators also known as Okada riders.
The state government had on Wednesday issued a total ban on the activities of the Okada riders in six local government areas of the state over the killing of a sound engineer, David Imoh, at Lekki.
Policemen from Onireke Police Station, Ojo, had impounded some commercial motorcycles for operating along the Mile 2 – Badagry expressway, an action which the riders resisted.
The riders attempted to overrun the station and possibly set free some of their members who were arrested by the policemen.
The riders set fire in the middle of the road, while the owners of vehicles abandoned them by the side of the road due to the chaos.
The crisis led to a stampede as pedestrians fled for fear of being caught up in the crossfire.
Moreso, the incident created heavy vehicular movement on both sides of the road.
While the policemen fired several shots into the air to disperse the commercial motorcycle operators, the riders themselves pelted the officers with stones, daring the policemen to come after them.
A yet to be ascertained number of persons sustained different wounds as they tried to run away from the trouble zone.
Presently, a combined team of anti-riot policemen and some soldiers have been deployed to return normalcy to the area.
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE CLASH BELOW:
Army Major commits suicide 3 days to court-martial verdict
A former Battalion Commanding Officer who led the fight against Boko Haram in the North East, Major UJ Undianyede, is said to have committed suicide.
According to sources, he killed himself less than 72 hours to the verdict of a court-martial trying him for alleged military infractions during the war.
The sources, who confirmed the incident last night, said the Major killed himself on Monday on the premises of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna, with his service pistol.
“I think he killed himself because of the judgment of the court-martial which has been fixed for tomorrow (today, May 19). We only learnt about his death today (Wednesday).
“In prosecuting the war, the Major with some of his colleagues allegedly committed some infractions for which he was being tried at the 1 Division in Kaduna,” one of the sources said.
The offences listed against the deceased officer by the court martial in the 1 Division included misappropriation of funds, abandonment of military post, insubordination, and desertion, among others.
Another source attributed the Major’s death to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), noting that he had been in the North East for some time battling Boko Haram terrorists.
The Major, a Course 55 Regular Officer and other members of his class, were said to be due for promotion to the rank Lieutenant Colonel this September.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said he had not been briefed.
However, the Public Relations Officer of the NDA, Major Bashir Jajira, dismissed the report, saying no officer of the academy was involved in suicide.
“No personnel of the academy was involved in suicide as reported, and in fact, our cadets are presently in Kachia for combat shooting training, they are not in the academy. So, no such training took place.”
In the same vein, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division Headquarters, Kaduna, Major Musa Yahaya stated that he was not aware of any court-martial taking place in the division as earlier reported.
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