Twitter on Wednesday deleted a remark on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s account for violating its rules, after he referred to the country’s civil war in the context of recent unrest.
Buhari, a former general, made a statement on Tuesday referring to recent violence in the southeast, where officials have blamed separatists for attacks on police and election offices.
Half a century ago, one million people died during a 30-month civil war after separatist generals declared an independent region for the Igbo people in Nigeria’s 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,” his tweet said. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
Twitter removed the remark, noting it had violated its rules.
A similar remark was still on the Nigerian presidency’s official Twitter account.
Buhari’s Minister of Information Lai Mohammed fired back saying while Twitter had its own rules, the president had the right to comment on the situation in Nigeria.
He accused Twitter of ignoring messages from Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB separatist group, which he said promoted violence.
Mohammed also referred to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s call last year for bitcoin donations to the #EndSARS protests last year in Nigeria against police brutality.
“We have a country to rule and we will do so to the best of our ability,” Mohammed told reporters. “Twitter mission in Nigeria citing those two examples is very suspect. What is their agenda?”
Southeast Nigeria has seen a recent surge in attacks, with around 130 police and security officials killed and around 20 police stations attacked this year, according to local media tallies.
Election offices have also been attacked.
IPOB, which agitates for a separate Igbo state, has denied its paramilitary wing, Eastern Security Network, is behind the violence, accusing the government of a smear campaign.
Streets in southeast Nigeria were deserted earlier this week as the former separatist region commemorated the more than one million people who died in the Biafra war and famine half a century ago.
Calls for independence and other regionalist demands have re-emerged since Buhari, a former military ruler and a Fulani from the north, became president in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.
Credit: Yahoo News