Nigeria Twitter suspension in national interest: FM

Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama said on Monday the country’s decision to suspend Twitter is in the interest of national security and peace.

Onyeama made the announcement here on Monday in a closed-door meeting with ambassadors and representatives of the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland and the European Union, reports Xinhua news agency.

He told reporters that President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on ensuring the peace and security of Nigerians and Nigeria, and that the government advocates responsible use of social media platforms that would not destabilise the country’s peace and unity.

“Unfortunately, the bad that social media is often used to commit have very dire consequences on human lives and in our case also threatening the unity of the country,” the Minister added.

The Nigerian government on June 4 said it was indefinitely suspending Twitter’s operations in the country, two days after the social media network removed a post from President Buhari where made a reference to the country’s 30-month civil war in 1967-1970, warning “those who wanted the government to fail” to desist from fomenting trouble.

“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. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” he said in the tweet which was deleted on June 2.

Twitter said it had deleted the Buhari tweet because it violated the site’s rules against abusive behaviour.

The US technology giant also suspended his account for 12 hours.