The Nigerian government on Friday said it had indefinitely suspended Twitter’s operations in the country, two days after the social media giant deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists.
The Ministry of Information and Culture accused Twitter of allowing its platform to be used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed criticised Twitter and claimed its mission in Nigeria was “very suspicious”.
According to Reuters, Twitter’s website was inaccessible in Nigeria early Saturday on some mobile carriers. But its app and website worked on other networks.
Twitter said the decision to suspend operations in Africa’s most populous nation was “deeply concerning”.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Nigerian president threatened suspected separatist militants in the southeast. “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,” Buhari wrote in the now-deleted tweet, BBC reported. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
More than 1 million people died between 1967 to 1970 when secessionists fought to create an independent Biafra for the ethnic Igbo people. Buhari, an ethnic Fulani, was on the other side in the war against the Igbos.