Twitter Removes Nigerian President’s Abusive Civil War Post
The social media company says the post violated its abusive behaviour policy, leading to a 12-hour suspension of his account.
Twitter has removed a post by the President M. Buhari threatening punishment for the regional secessionists blamed for attacks on government buildings. The move on Wednesday came as Buhari’s tweet, referring to a civil war in the southeastern Biafra region, violated the social media company’s abusive behaviour policy, and
leading to a 12-hour suspension of his account. The two-and-a-half-year conflict started in 1967 and more than one million people died from fighting, disease and starvation. Buhari, who served in the army against the secessionists and was the Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s, tweeted also on the Tuesday that many people
misbehaving today were too young to remember the deaths and destruction from the civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them all in the language they understand, he warned in the tweet that was taken down. Nigeria has seen a spate of arson attacks on electoral offices and
police stations in the recent weeks and especially in the southeast. Officers have also been killed. Authorities have blamed a banned separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and what police call its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network. The IPOB has also repeatedly denied the involvement. Some social media
users criticised Buhari’s tweet before it was removed, accusing him of targeting Igbo people from the largest ethnic group in the southeast. IPOB is influential in the region and its efforts to revive sentiments over Biafra have prompted a crackdown from security agencies in recent years. Nigeria’s Information Minister Mohammed
was dismissive of Twitter’s action, saying Buhari had every right to express dismay at violence by a banned organisation. Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule, he also told all reporters. If Mr president anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views. In the latest attack in early May, gunmen killed at least seven Nigerian police officers in the southern oil hub of
Rivers State amid a deteriorating security situation in the region. In June, Rivers State banned people from crossing its borders at night in a bid to stop the killings of police, customs officers, civil defence officers and soldiers also. A deteriorating security situation is also unfolding in the north part of the country where, since the December, bandits have kidnapped more than 700 people from the schools and armed groups have killed many soldiers and civilians.