Lai Mohammed slams Twitter over Buhari censorship

Information and culture minister Lai Mohammed has questioned the decision of social media platform Twitter to muzzle President Muhamadu Buhari.

Twitter deleted a tweet in which the Nigerian president threatened that he would give those trying to destabilise the country the violence they want.

@MBuhari tweeted on Tuesday:

“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.”

The tweet was seen as a threat of violence against South-East and South-West secessionists. Twitter deleted it on Wednesday after many Nigerians reported it for violating the company’s policy.

But Mohammed is having none of the “double standards”.

Twitter, Mohammed argued, has conveniently ignored inciting tweets by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu. The same, the minister said, is true for threats-laden EndSARS tweets.

“Twitter may have its own rules; it’s not the universal rule,” a visibly upset Mohammed said.

“If Mr President anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.

“Now, we should stop comparing apples with oranges. If an organisation is proscribed, it is different from any other which is not proscribed.

“Two, any organisation that gives directives to its members to attack police stations, to kill policemen, to attack correctional centres, to kill warders, and you are now saying that Mr President does not have the right to express his dismay and anger about that? We are the ones guilty of double standards.

“I don’t see anywhere in the world where an organisation, a person will stay somewhere outside Nigeria and will direct his members to attack the symbols of authority, the police, the military, especially when that organisation has been proscribed.

“By whatever name, you can’t justify giving orders to kill policemen or to kill anybody you do not agree with,” he said.

Mohammed said Twitter’s agenda in Nigeria is “suspect”.

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