The Federal Government on Friday said it 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.
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.
According to 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.
It is not yet clear how the suspension will work but the Twitter website was still accessible from Lagos as of Friday afternoon.
The suspension comes days after Twitter deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s official account.
The tweet had referenced the Nigerian civil war as the President threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.
It sparked reactions from many Nigerians who interpreted the statement as a threat to commit human rights violations.
Former presidential candidate Kingsley Moghalu in his reaction said Buhari’s threat “is not the kind of word he should say as the president.”
Buhari made the threat after receiving security reports from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on the series of recent attacks on INEC facilities nationwide.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria Civil War,” the tweet said.
“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”