Nigeria bans Twitter 'indefinitely' after President Buhari's account suspension

2021-06-05 17:08:41
Nigeria bans Twitter 'indefinitely' after President Buhari's account suspension

Nigeria said on Friday it had indefinitely suspended Twitter's activities in Africa's most populous nation, a day after the Nigerian government said it would suspend the US social media giant indefinitely.

Nigerian telecoms firms shut down access to Twitter two days after the company removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists in the West African country.

The Nigerian leader had tweeted in relation to the 1967-70 civil war saying, "Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand".

"We, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) wish to confirm that our members have received formal instructions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to suspend access to Twitter," the industry body said.

ALTON said telecoms companies have complied with NCC's directive, based on national interest. It said the association will engage with authorities and stakeholders and act as directed further.

"As an industry, we endorse the position of the United Nations that the rights held by people offline must also be protected online," ALTON said.

Earlier, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the government had acted because of "the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence".

Twitter is investigating the suspension and "will provide updates when we know more", the company said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the US tech firm said Buhari's post threatening to punish groups blamed for attacks on government buildings had violated Twitter's "abusive behaviour" policy.


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