Celebrities in Nigeria are up in arms following a government directive to indefinitely suspend Twitter in the country.
This comes just two days after the social media company removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists.
The social media platform said President Buhari’s tweet violated its “abusive behavior” policy, removed the post and suspended his account for 12 hours.
According to the information minister, Lai Mohammed, the government resorted to that due to the constant use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
However, according to the Guardian, Mohammed did not spell out what form the suspension would take or give more details on the undermining activities.
According to Nigerian singer Banky W, who also doubles up as a politician, the government has failed in rectifying some of the perennial illegal actions such as armed robbery and terrorism which make the country totally unsafe. In his statement via Twitter, the 40-year-old went on to accuse the government of misplacing its priorities.
“They can't stop kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism... the country is as unsafe as ever... yet they can seize passports and block bank accounts of peaceful protesters. They ban cryptocurrency. They ban Twitter. Completely out of touch with the plight of young people,” Banky W tweeted.
Banky W’s wife, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, further mocked the Nigerian government for using the same platform they had ‘banned’ to actually deliver the news to the citizens.
“You announce the suspension of Twitter.... ON TWITTER! You can't make this stuff up,” she tweeted.
In a simple yet swift reaction, Nigerian singer-songwriter Adekunle Gold announced that he is going back to Facebook.
“Back to Facebook,” he tweeted.
Reacting to the government’s directive, Twitter through a statement disclosed that the move by the Nigerian government was a deep concern.
“The announcement made by the Nigerian Government that they have suspended Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is deeply concerning,” the company said in a statement, adding that it would investigate.