Nigeria’s President, Muhammad Buhari, ordered the suspension of Twitter in the country because he was “angry” that Facebook also joined the latter to take down his controversial post on insecurity, The Daily beast reported.
The Nigerian government announced on Friday it was suspending Twitter’s operations in the country. The order came after Twitter deleted a tweet by Buhari for breaching the site’s rules.
A few hours after, telecommunications companies in the country blocked access to the platform but some users are getting around the ban. ISPs did the same hours later.
Although the Presidency said the tweet’s removal was “disappointing”, but insisted that it was not the only reason for the “temporary” suspension.
“There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real-world violent consequences,” Buhari spokesman Garba Shehu said.
The American news publication said “anger” is the word used by those close to the president in describing how he felt on Friday when his aides informed him that Facebook had followed Twitter by deleting a post he made on both platforms.
“The action taken by Facebook ultimately triggered the ban on Twitter,” The Daily Beast quoted another official in the Buhari administration as saying. “Even though Facebook wasn’t affected, things could change in the near future.”
Daily Beast insisted that President Buhari initially planned to ban both Facebook and Twitter. He was advised against the action so it will not seem like an action taken as a vengeance.
“He was furious and wanted to deal with both Twitter and Facebook,” an official in the president’s office told The Daily Beast.
“The action [the social media companies] took was embarrassing to the president.”
Despite the ban, many people are still tweeting in the country by using virtual private networks (VPN). But the authorities such persons and organisations will be prosecuted.