Twitter’s operations in Nigeria have been “indefinitely suspended” says the Nigerian government, following an announcement, ironically on Twitter, by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) June 4, 2021
“The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” the statement reads.
The reason that was given for the ban, via the statement posted on the ministry’s official Twitter handle accuses the US-based social media powerhouse “… for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
According to CNN, the suspension comes two days after a controversial tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari was deleted by Twitter. The tweet in question was perceived by many to be direly offensive.
Buhari had tweeted that he would “deal” with people living in the southeast of Nigeria, whom he blames for attacks on public infrastructure in the region.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian 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 wrote in the now-deleted tweet
The president had been referring to the bloody two-year-long Nigeria-Biafra war. A conflict that saw the deaths of an estimated one to three million people, mostly of the Igbo ethnic group that lived in the eastern part of the country between 1967 and 1970.
Twitter deleted the tweet Wednesday after it was flagged as offensive by users. The company was criticized by Information Minister Lai Mohammed for having “double standards” after deleting the tweet.
The announcement also declared that the National Broadcasting Commission would immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.