Estimated Reading Time: 1
Twitter has on Friday, expressed ‘deep concern’ over Nigerian government’s decision to suspend its operations in the country.
According to Sarah Hart, Twitter’s senior policy communications manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa in a statement said;
The announcement made by the Nigerian Government that they have suspended Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is deeply concerning. We’re investigating and will provide updates when we know more.
Recall that MDB earlier reported how the government suspended Twitter’s operations indefinitely, after accusing the micro-blogging site of “undermining Nigeria’s existence.”
In a statement on Friday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said the government was forced to act because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
While Twitter does not have physical offices in Nigeria, the platform is freely available in the country and has up to 2 million users, according to some estimates.
Many Nigerians and other people around the world have interpreted the FG’s action as the first process of it banning other platforms and cutting off citizens away from the world.
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”
It sparked reactions from many Nigerians who interpreted the statement as a threat to commit human rights violations.
Reacting, Lai Mohammed, Information Minister, condemned Twitter, accusing the company of having a suspicious agenda in Nigeria. He accused Twitter of enabling violence during #EndSARS protests in October 2020.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, Twitter remained available in Nigeria – two and half hours after the announcement was posted on the Information Ministry’s verified Twitter account.
It remains to be seen when the suspension takes effect and what actions Twitter takes.