Estimated Reading Time: 2
The Federal Government has accused Twitter of playing double standards as the social media giant deleted a tweet where President Muhammadu Buhari threatened a repeat of what happened in the civil war.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Twitter had earlier ignored inciting tweets by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and his cohorts, but were quick to delete the message of the president.
Mr Buhari had in a series of tweets on Tuesday night warned assailants attacking police stations and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to desist from such acts.
He then warned “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.”
Twitter however deleted the tweet after a lot of Nigerians reported the tweet. Explaining the reason behind deleting the tweet, Twitter wrote in a terse statement that “This tweet violated the Twitter Rules”.
Reacting to the incident, the minister of Information said, “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. 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 organisation that gives directives to its members, to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centres, to kill warders, and you are now saying that Mr. President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that? We are the ones guilty of double standards.
“I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, a person will stay somewhere outside Nigeria, and will direct his members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organisation has been proscribed. By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with.”