Federal Government of Nigeria Suspends Twitter Operations in Nigeria


The Federal Government of Nigeria has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria two days after Twitter temporarily froze the Nigerian president’s official account for allegedly violating its  “abusive behavior” policy.

In a statement shared on Twitter, the Federal Government said the platform was suspended due to its capacity to undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence.

“The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence,” read part of the statement.

The Minister said 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.

Twitter made this decision to temporarily suspend Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari account after his post that referenced the bloody Nigerian civil war where the Nigerian forces were accused of blatant war crimes.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Biafra war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” the president tweeted in a now-deleted post.

Though Twitter’s web and mobile applications are still working in various states across the country at press time, Twitter says it’s “deeply concerned” by the decision of the Nigerian government and says it will provide updates on the situation.

Buhari is the second head of state after Trump to be suspended by Twitter. Former U.S. President Donald Trump was suspended while still in office raising issues of the growing power of technology platforms and their autonomy from laws of the land.