The federal government yesterday accused the social media giant, Twitter, of double standards in its treatment of issues affecting Nigeria.
It warned that it would not allow the microblogging site to dictate to President Muhammadu Buhari his views on national issues.
The accusation followed the decision of Twitter to delete a controversial post by Buhari on the Nigerian civil war.
The president, in the post on Tuesday, had warned against insurrection, saying that those fomenting trouble in the South-east are in for a rude shock.
Buhari, in a series of tweets on Tuesday via his verified Twitter handle @mbuhari had said: “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.”
Buhari’s statement, which was also tweeted, sparked outrage on the social media with some Nigerians reporting it to Twitter.
However, some said the president sounded firm in his warning against perpetrators of violence in the South-east.
But yesterday, Twitter pulled down the tweet for violating its community standards.
Twitter, in a comment, said: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”
The federal government, however, kicked against the decision with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, wondering why Tweeter would object to a submission by the president on national issues but would ignore provocative postings by the leader of the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on its site.
He said: “The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspect. Has Twitter deleted the violent tweets that Nnamdi Kanu has been sending? Has it? The same Twitter during the ENDSARS protests promoted tweets trying to raise funds for the ENDSARS protesters. It was the first to close the account of former President of US, Donald Trump.
“And you see, when people were burning police stations and killing policemen in Nigeria during ENDSARS, for Twitter, it was about the right to protest. But when a similar thing happened at the Capitol, it became insurrection. You see, we are not going to be fooled by anybody. We have a country to rule and we will do so to the best of our ability. Twitter mission in Nigeria citing those two examples is very suspect. What is their agenda?
“How does Mr. President’s speech that anybody who is destroying infrastructure, who is destroying police stations, who is destroying INEC offices should be ready for the consequences; is that inciting violence?”