Breaking: FG Suspends Twitter’s Operations in Nigeria
By Olawale Ajimotokan
The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
The suspension was announced on Friday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, via a statement issued in Abuja.
The minister cited the persistent use of the Twitter platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Mohammed stated that the Federal Government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
Twitter had Wednesday deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet posted Tuesday where he threatened to deal with secessionists “in the language they understand”.
The social media giant had said the tweet violated the Twitter Rules.
The President had released a series of tweets after meeting with the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, wherein he warned that those promoting insurrection and those sponsoring destruction of critical national assets would soon have the shock of their lives.
He also threatened to deal with “those misbehaving today” “in the language they understand.”
Though the President tweeted five tweets on his meeting with Prof. Yakubu, it was the last tweet that Twitter said violated its rules and was deleted, while the remaining four tweets were retained.
In the controversial tweet which had been widely criticized by twitter users, President Buhari said: “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 federal government had accused Twitter of taking sides and said its was suspicious of the microblogging site’s role in the IPOB agitation for Biafa.