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Twitter responds: Nigeria’s suspension of our operations deeply concerning

Author:
Chinedu Asadu

Twitter has expressed “deep concern” over the federal government’s decision to suspend its operations in Nigeria.

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Sarah Hart, Twitter’s senior policy communications manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told TheCable the company is investigating the development.

TheCable had reported how the government suspended Twitter’s operations indefinitely, after accusing the micro-blogging site of “undermining Nigeria’s existence.”

In a statement on Friday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said the government was forced to act because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

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However, as of the time of this report, the platform is still active within Nigeria.

In an email response to TheCable’s enquiry, Hart said: “The announcement made by the Nigerian Government that they have suspended Twitter’s operations in Nigeria is deeply concerning.

“We’re investigating and will provide updates when we know more.”

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Despite the government’s claim that Twitter is being used to undermine the existence of Nigeria, some have argued the suspension may be connected to the company’s decision to delete President Muhammadu Buhari tweet recently.

Writing via his Twitter handle on Tuesday, the president had condemned the attacks on government facilities in the country and threatened to treat those responsible in “a language they understand”

“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” he had said.

The tweet was deleted for “violating” Twitter rules, prompting criticism from the government.

Mohammed had also questioned Twitter’s mission in Nigeria, saying the organisation’s style of operation makes it suspect.

“The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very very suspect,” he had said.

“Has Twitter deleted the violent tweets that Nnamdi Kanu has been sending? The same Twitter, during the #ENDSARS protests, that was funding #ENDSARS protesters.

“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’s mission in Nigeria citing those two examples is very suspect. What is their agenda?

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