Now that Nigeria has suspended Twitter, what next?
It is no longer new that the Federal Government has suspended indefinitely the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who announced the suspension in a statement on Friday in Abuja, cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
According to him, “The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” it read.
Mohammed 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.
Titter had on Wednesday, June 2, deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet, in which he threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand.”
The President had in a tweet shared on Tuesday, cited Nigeria’s civil war experience between 1967 and 1970 and noted that most of those “misbehaving” by burning electoral offices were maybe too young to understand the gravity of war.
In the tweet, he also threatened to deal with the arsonists, saying: “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
The tweet, however, attracted millions of comments and widespread condemnation, with many Nigerians criticizing the President, especially for making reference to the civil war in which millions of Nigerians, mostly of Igbo extraction, were killed.
The tweet was deleted Wednesday after many Nigerians flagged it to Twitter and the platform said it had violated its policy on abusive behavior.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed criticized Twitter’s action and accused the social media giant of “double standards.”
Mohammed also questioned Twitter’s motives in Nigeria, saying, “the mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very very suspect…” at a news conference on Wednesday after Buhari’s tweet was deleted.