The Nigerian government has reacted to Twitter’s decision to remove President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet about the civil war.
Buhari has cautioned anyone instigating unrest in Nigeria’s southeast area that his administration will “handle them in the language they understand.”
“Many of those misbehaving now are too young to remember the devastation and loss of life that occurred during Nigeria’s civil war.
Those of us who have been in the fields for 30 months and have been through the battle will treat them in the language they understand,” Buhari tweeted on Tuesday.
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Nigerians who reported Buhari’s account for suspension reacted negatively to his message.
Twitter rules prohibit users from making statements that “threaten violence against an individual or a group of people; engage in targeted harassment of someone, or incite others to do so; or promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or any other factor.”
Twitter deleted the vexatious tweet in response, noting that “this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”
The microblogging platform did not act on Nigerians’ request to suspend Buhari’s account, although it did delete the tweet that mentioned civil war.
However, reacting after Wednesday’s Federal executive council (FEC) presided over by President Buhari, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, accused Twitter of double standards in handling the issue.
Mohammed, who dismissed Twitter’s, accused the social media giant of bias and supporting the looting and destruction of public and private properties during the #EndSARS protest in November 2020.
The Minister of Information said Twitter’s role is suspect, adding that Nigeria will not be fooled anymore.
“Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule. If Mr. President, anywhere in the world feels very bad and concern about a situation, he is free to express such views,” Mohammed said.
“Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges. If an organisation is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed.
“Two, any organization that directs its members to assault police stations, kill policemen, attack penal facilities, and kill warders, and you are now claiming that Mr President has no right to express his dismay and outrage over it?
“Are we the ones who have double standards?
I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organization, or a person, will stay outside of Nigeria and order his members to target symbols of authority, such as the police or the military, especially if that organization has been banned.
“By whatever name you call it, you cannot justify giving instructions to kill police officers or anyone else with whom you disagree.”