The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced the suspension in a statement issued by his office in Abuja on Friday.
The statement, signed by Ministry spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi, cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The Minister said in the statement that the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
It is still unclear how the ban will work. As at the time of filing this report, the Twitter website was still accessible.
The ban however is not unconnected with the recent deleting of an alleged genocidal tweet of President Buhari by Twitter.
Mr. Buhari had in an unpresidential tweet threatened Igbos, in Eastern Nigeria, with another civil war.
Over three million Igbos, mostly children and women, were killed by Federal troops during the civil war that lasted from 1967 – 1970.
Buhari had tweeted, “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.”
The tweet sparked outrage across the country, and the tweet was reported to Twitter.
The microblogging site later deleted the offensive post with a comment, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules”.
An angry minister of Information had on Thursday condemned the decision of Twitter, accusing it of supporting insurrection in Nigeria.
He unsatisfactorily cited its role during the #EndSARS protests, which ended in the killing of protesters by security forces and destruction of properties across the country.