What did Muhammadu Buhari tweet? Twitter banned in Nigeria after site deletes president's 'abusive' message
The Nigerian government suspended social networking site Twitter 'indefinitely' on June 4 claiming that the activities on the site were undermining the country's 'corporate existence'. The move comes shortly after Twitter removed a post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for violating its rules. Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Information and Culture released a statement which said, "The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria."
The Minister of Information and Culture, 'Alhaji Lai Mohammed', announced the suspension "citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence." The suspension comes two days after Twitter first deleted Buhari's tweet and later suspended his Twitter account for 12 hours. Twitter was in the headlines recently for banning former US President Donald Trump permanently.
President's Buhari's now-deleted tweet read, "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." The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, was fought over an attempted breakaway by the state of Biafra. The 30-month conflict led to the defeat of the secessionist forces. More than a million people were killed, mostly civilians through starvation during the war.
Twitter defended its action claiming that the president's tweet violated its policy on 'abusive behaviour'. Nigeria's information minister called Twitter's move unfair, labelling it for being 'double standards'. A Twitter spokesperson said that Buhari's post "was in violation of the Twitter Rules. The account owner will be required to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours with their account in read-only mode".
Registering the Nigerian government's discontentment, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said that "Twitter may have its own rules; it's not the universal rule", adding that if the president felt "concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views".
In addition to announcing a ban on Twitter in the country, the Nigerian government also directed the country's broadcast commission to commence the process of 'licensing' all social media platforms in Nigeria.