From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has reacted to social media giant Twitter deleting President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet referencing the civil war and threatening southeastern agitators.
President Buhari had posted in a tweet on Tuesday:
‘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.’
Following several complaints, Twitter deleted the tweet, stating: ‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.’
Reacting to the development, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed accused Twitter of double standards, stating that while the social media site has conveniently ignored inciting tweets by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu and his cohorts, displaying the same biases it did during the #EndSARS protests and riots when public and private property were being looted and set on fire, it finds Buhari’s tweet offensive.
The minister said Twitter’s role is suspect and Nigeria will not be fooled.
‘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. Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges. If an organisation is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed,’ the minister stated.
‘Two, any organisation that gives directives to its members to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centres, to kill wardens, and you are now saying that Mr President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that? We are the ones guilty of double standards? I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, a person, will stay somewhere outside Nigeria and will direct its members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organisation has been proscribed. By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with.’