Just two days after Twitter removed a post from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists, the country announced that it was suspending the social media giant’s activities.
According to Reuters, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said that the government made the critical decision after “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
And though Minister Mohammed didn’t go into detail about what those “activities” entailed, it was implied that the social tech giant’s decision to remove the Buhari post played a huge factor — if not was the sole determining factor — in their drastic move.
Twitter is also saying they are “deeply concerned” about their suspension by the Nigerian government, and “[we] will provide updates when we know more.”
With that said, Twitter’s website and app continued to work in the Nigerian capital Abuja, as well as in the commercial capital of Lagos.
As for why Buhari’s post was removed, Twitter said that it violated the company’s abusive behavior policy. The persistent abuse of the company’s abusive behavior policy is what got former President Donald Trump permanently suspended from the platform.
MITN, Nigeria’s largest mobile provider, did not have any comment, so it wasn’t clear what the next steps will be when it comes to potentially removing a mobile Twitter app from a purchasing platform.
Airtel, another mobile provider in Nigeria, declined to comment about the matter.
There was also some concern raised by the Nigerian government when Twitter announced that they would set up their African operations in the country of Ghana (a move which, as AfroTech previously reported, was positive for Ghanaian development).
Minister Mohammed, for his part, said that Twitter was influenced by “fake news” reports of Nigeria’s reputation, including what he called “false reports” of crackdowns against protestors earlier in 2021.