Nigeria Breaks New Bad Record Under President Buhari

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The Federal Government on Friday stated it has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking website, Twitter, in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued by his office in Abuja.

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The statement, signed by Ministry spokeswoman, Segun Adeyemi, noted the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of damaging Nigeria’s business existence.

 

According to the release, the Minister said the Federal has also asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately initiate the process of licencing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

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It is not yet clear how the suspension will function although the website was still available from Lagos as of Friday afternoon.

‘Civil War’ Tweet

The suspension comes days after erased a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s official account.

The tweet had referenced the Nigerian civil war as the President threated to handle Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.

It provoked outrage from many Nigerians who regarded the remarks as a threat to commit human rights crimes.

Former presidential contender Kingsley Moghalu said Buhari’s threat “is not the kind of term he should say as the president.”

Buhari made the threat after receiving security reports from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on the string of recent attacks on INEC facilities countrywide.

“Many of those misbehaving now are too young to be aware of the havoc and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria Civil War,” the tweet added.

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

A video of Buhari making the comment was likewise deleted by Twitter from the official Presidency account on Thursday.

“This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules. “Learn more,” said Twitter.

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‘Suspicious’ Twitter activity

Minister Mohammed addressed a press conference on Wednesday at the State House in Abuja in response to the tweet deletion.

He accused Twitter of being biassed in its curating and said the company’s operations were troubling.

“We have a country to rule, and we will do so as best we can. “Twitter’s objective in Nigeria is quite dubious; they have a hidden agenda,” he claims.

“Twitter’s goal in Nigeria is highly suspect. Is it true that Twitter has removed Nnamdi Kanu’s violent tweets? Is it true? During the ENDSARS protests, the same Twitter that was sponsoring ENDSARS demonstrators was also the first to deactivate Donald Trump’s account.

“And you see, when people in Nigeria were burning police stations and killing police officers during ENDSARS, it was all about the freedom to protest for Twitter. When something similar happened on the Capitol, though, it became insurgency.”

He said that during the #EndSARS protest, Twitter was biassed, resulting in looting and damage of and private property.

The minister enquired as to what regulation President Buhari had broken in order for his tweet to be removed.

“Twitter may have its own set of standards, but they are not universal,” he explained. “If Mr. President feels really bad and concerned about a situation anyplace in the world, he is free to express those feelings. Now is the time to stop comparing apples and oranges.

Twitter ban in Nigeria 

“A prohibited organisation differs from any other organisation that is not forbidden. Two, any organisation that instructs its members to assault police stations, kill police officers, attack penitentiary centres, kill warders, and now you’re saying Mr. President has no right to express his displeasure and indignation about it?

“It is we who are guilty of applying double standards. I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, or a person, will stay outside of Nigeria and order his members to target symbols of authority, such as the police and the military, especially if that organisation has been banned. You can’t justify giving orders to kill police officers or anyone you don’t agree with under any name.”

Why Buhari ban Twitter  in Nigeria ? 

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