The Nigerian Government has reacted to Twitter’s decision to delete President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet that referenced the civil war.
Buhari threatened those fomenting trouble in Nigeria’s southeast region that his government will “treat them in the language they understand.”
“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 tweeted on Tuesday.
Buhari’s tweet faced criticism from Nigerians who reported his account for suspension.
Twitter rules prohibit users from making statements that “threaten violence against an individual or a group of people; engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so; nor 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 serious disease.”
In response, Twitter deleted the vexatious tweet, noting that “this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules”.
The microblogging platform did not take any action on Nigerians’ request for suspension of Buhari’s account but deleted the tweet that referenced 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 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.”