Federal government officials in Nigeria have suspended Twitter’s operations indefinitely.
Minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced the suspension in an Abuja statement on Friday, citing the platform’s persistent use for activities that threaten Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The statement was signed by Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture.
The government of Nigeria cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as the reason for its action.
The Minister said 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.
Twitter had on Wednesday taken down President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet on dealing with those fomenting trouble in some parts of the country.
Sharing his civil war experience when he hosted Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Buhari had said those misbehaving would be treated in the language they understand.
The president said those plotting the downfall of his administration will soon get the shock of their lives.
Yakubu led a delegation to Buhari over the attacks on INEC offices in the South-East.
After the meeting, @MBuhari, the president’s handle, tweeted about the discussion the president had with the INEC delegation.
“I received a briefing today from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on the series of attacks on their facilities nationwide. These attacks are totally unacceptable, and we will not allow those behind them to achieve their evil objectives.
“I have assured INEC that we will make available to them everything they need to operate efficiently, so that no one will say we don’t want to go, or that we want a third term. There will be no excuse for failure. We will meet all of INEC’s demands.
“In the area of security, we have changed the Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General, and we are demanding that they rise fully to the challenges confronting us. There must be zero tolerance for all those bent on destroying our country by promoting crime and insurrection!
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
But there was a massive outrage on Twitter as many users accused the president of threatening a section of the country.
They also asked Twitter to sanction the president, whom they accused of bias.
On Wednesday, Twitter flagged one of the tweets, saying it violates its rules.
The federal government immediately reacted, expressing its suspicion of the activities of the social media giant, Twitter, following its decision to delete President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet referencing the civil war. Reacting to the development on Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture accused Twitter of a double standard.Mohammed said the social media giant had conveniently ignored inciting tweets by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and his cohorts.He said Twitter ignored Kalu’s remarks that encouraged the killing of Police personnel and the show of similar biases during the ENDSARS protest where government and private properties were looted and set on fire, considering it human rights.
Mohammed, who wondered why the organisation now found President Buhari’s tweet offensive, said Twitter’s role is suspicious and Nigeria will not be fooled.