Nigeria Removes Twitter Over Removal of President’s Post

"Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari addressing to MEPs" by European Parliament is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following Twitter’s deletion of a message by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, the country’s telecom companies will shut off all remaining access to Twitter by Saturday.

“Photo of the Day: May 1, 2018” by The White House is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Network providers implemented the indefinite ban on Friday. While the platform was still accessible the next morning in some cases, Gbenga Awonuga (executive secretary of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria) claimed that those network carriers are in the process of disconnecting access.

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Nigeria’s attorney general stated that prosecution will fall on anyone who violates the regulations. He failed to point out the parameters of what would be considered a breach of regulation.

Why is Twitter Meddling in African Politics?

The administration’s decision comes just two days after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet, a threat against secessionists, was removed from Twitter.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed spoke out against the president’s removal. Mohammed claimed that the president has the right to speak about security issues and criticized the internet giant’s actions.

Freedom of speech is a tricky issue when it comes to the use of applications owned by corporations. Ultimately though, mega corporations should not be able to “play god” and determine for the rest of the world what is allowed or not allowed to be said. 

In this specific case, the Nigerian president was making a statement against individuals giving instructions to attack police stations as an act of rebellion against the government. The tweet was aimed at those who had intended to do serious harm and even cause death. 

Why is Twitter Meddling in American Politics?

It’s a great question; it’s not limited to Twitter, either. Facebook just announced that it will continue Donald Trump’s ban on the platform for another two years. To anyone who is watching, it is clear that this is collusion with the Democrats to keep Donald Trump quiet until the midterm elections are completed. 

It is possible that the ban will even continue indefinitely after that point. We know that Facebook was itching for an excuse to remove the then-president from his primary communication platform; the events of January 6, 2021 were the perfect reason.

They were so fast to accuse him and some 80 thousand Republicans of supposedly inciting violence.

Some accused Twitter of overreach; they stepped into the political sphere under the excuse that, any attempts to incite violence would result in a ban from the platform.

It is ironic, then, that the leaders of Hamas and Iran are allowed onto the platform where they make almost daily threats against the lives of Israeli Jews. 

In the case of Nigeria, you can understand why the country is very uneasy about an American media company involving its self in the running of their country.