Nigeria Suspends Twitter’s Operations Yet Announces It Via Twitter

Nigeria has announced the suspension of operations of microblogging site Twitter in its territory.

This was contained in a press statement released on Friday, June 4, 2021.

The decision comes up days after the site deleted tweets of the country’s president said to be against its policies.

In a statement, the Federal Ministry of Information 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 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.”

On Wednesday Junee 2, 2021, Twitter deleted a tweet by Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened to punish pro-Biafra groups blamed for escalating attacks on government and security authorities.

The social media firm said Buhari’s tweet violated its “abusive behaviour” policy, leading to a 12-hour suspension of his account.

The tweet promised a response to waves of attacks blamed on the Eastern Security Network (ESN), an armed group which emerged from the main pro-Biafran secessionist movement, the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).

Several Twitter users said they reported the tweet for inciting violence in the predominantly ethnically Igbo region.

Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, dismissed Twitter’s action. “Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule,” he told reporters. “If Mr President anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”

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