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 in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
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.
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) June 4, 2021
What really happened?
Twitter had deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari where he threatened to punish those responsible for attacks on government facilities in the South East.
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The tweet read:
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Biafra war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
According to Twitter, the tweet violated its “abusive behaviour” policy.
Immediately after the tweet was deleted, Lai Mohammed held a press conference where he condemned the decision.
He said: “Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule. If Mr President anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”