The Federal Government has announced the suspension of Twitter, a social media and microblogging site from Nigeria for removing President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets threatening to punish secessionists amidst the ongoing unrest
The suspension came two days after the social media giant removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari’s handle.
This was announced in a statement by the Minister of Information and culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday.
According to the statement signed by the Ministry spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi, said the suspension is necessary based on the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The Minister said in the statement that the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, as of Friday afternoon, the Twitter website is still much accessible but it is not yet clear on how the suspension will work.
The suspension comes two days after Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet from his official account.
Recall on Thursday, the video of President Buhari was also deleted by Twitter from his official account.
According to Twitter, the tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter rules.
In his tweet, President Buhari tweeted and made referenced the Nigerian Civil war, threatening to treat Nigerians misbehaving in a language they will understand.
President Buhari made these threats known after receiving the security reports from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on the series of recent attacks on INEC facilities nationwide.
The President said “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria Civil War stating that those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the President’s tweet has sparked up reactions from many Nigerians who interpreted the tweet as a threat to commit human rights violations.
While reacting to the tweet deletion on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed through a press conference in Abuja, accused Twitter of being impartial in its approaches stating that the social media giant activities are suspicious in Nigeria.
Lai Mohammed during the press conference also said “We have a country to rule and we will do so to the best of our ability. Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is very suspect, they have an agenda,” he said.
“The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspicious. Has Twitter deleted the violent tweets that Nnamdi Kanu has been sending? Has it? The same Twitter during the END SARS protests was funding END SARS protesters, it was the first to close the account of the former president of the US, Trump.
“And you see when people were burning police stations and killing policemen in Nigeria during END SARS, for Twitter, it was about the right to protest. But when a similar thing happened on the Capitol, it became insurrection.”
The Minister stated that Twitter is biased during the #EndSARS protest which led to the looting and destruction of government and private property.
He asked what rule President Buhari had violated to warrant his tweet to be deleted.
According to him, Twitter may have its own rules but it’s not the universal rule.
The Minister said. “If Mr. President, anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views. Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges.
He also said “If an organization is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed. Two, any organization that gives directives to its members, to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centers, to kill warders, and you are now saying that Mr. President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that?
“We are the ones guilty of double standards. I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organization, a person will stay somewhere outside Nigeria and will direct his members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organization has been proscribed. By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with.”
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