Twitter on Wednesday removed a post and suspended the Twitter account of President Muhammadu Buhari. A Twitter spokesperson said the post “was in violation of the Twitter Rules and expects the account owner to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours with the account in read-only mode”.
The tweet reads in oart, “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.”
Buhari, who became Nigeria’s military ruler after a coup which ousted the democratically elected administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in the 1980s, fought in the army against Biafra secessionists during the Nigerian 1967-70 civil war which killed over a million people, especially through starvation, is blaming the spate of arson attacks on electoral offices and police stations in the southeast on Biafra agitators.
The government has repeatedly blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) for the attacks, while the group also has repeatedly denied involvement.
However, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) last week urged its people to commemorate the war dead with a stay-at-home order, which was widely observed.
The proscribed group has faced government crackdown from security agencies over the years over Biafra sentiments.
Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed was dismissive of Twitter’s ban of President Buhari’s twitter account caling it”double standards”.
He says that Buhari has every right to express dismay at violence by a banned organisation. “Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule, If Mr. President anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”
Twitter has a detailed list of materials that should not be used in tweets, including abusive behaviour, harassment, discrimination and violent threats, with various levels of action for violating rules, including post removal and account suspension or deletion.