FG Under Fire For Twitter’s Indefinite Suspension


FG Under Fire For Twitter’s Indefinite Suspension

Nigerians have reacted with fury after the federal government on Friday announced a ban on Twitter, the microblogging platform millions of citizens have used for years to express themselves and hold the authorities to account.

In a shocking move, Information Minister Lai Mohammed, who had earlier condemned the platform, announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter, two days after it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s post threatening violence.

Read Also: [Breaking] Deleted Tweet: Buhari Hits Back, Orders Indefinite Suspension Of Twitter Operations In Nigeria

The suspension is a culmination of a three-day drama which began when Twitter deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari for violating its rules.

In the post, Buhari referenced his role in 1967 Nigerian civil war where over a million people were gruesomely killed, threatening to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.

Although he did not name the South East, it was in clear reference to the region where government installations have been torched in recent weeks, and which suffered the brunt of the civil war the most.

He said;

Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.

Buhari’s statement drew widespread condemnation, and prompted a deletion from Twitter after several complaints were filed by citizens, saying the post breached its rules.

Read Also: Twitter Deletes Buhari’s ‘Civil War’ Tweet Threatening Arsonists In South East

After the news broke, several Nigerians including some celebrities took to social media and other platforms to blast the government over its decision.

The lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, in an interview with PremiumTimes said the suspension was a “provocative infringement” of Nigerians’ right to freedom of expression including freedom to access information in the country.

He said;

The NBC has been authorised to impose harsh fines on local media houses that embarrass the federal government as a prelude for possible ban.

The suspension of Twitter may soon be extended to Facebook, Instagram and then BBC, VOA, Aljazeera, SABC and other international media platforms accused of publishing seditious or defamatory information against the government and its officials.

Some Nigerians believed the government lacks the technological capacity to implement the ban.

See some reactions below;

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