Why Brutal Civil War is at the Heart of Nigeria’s Decision to Ban Twitter

Africa

The European Union and the United States have criticised Nigeria’s decision to ban Twitter indefinitely. The authorities in Abuja took action after the US social media giant deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Twitter enraged supporters of Donald Trump when it first deleted some of his tweets and then suspended his profile altogether back in January and now the California-based social media behemoth has done it again, this time in Nigeria.

On Tuesday, 1 June, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria was outraged when one of his tweets was deleted because it failed to meet Twitter’s guidelines.

​Buhari, now 78, was an officer in the Nigerian Army during the 1967-70 civil war when secessionists from the Igbo tribe sought to break away and form a new nation, Biafra, in the south-east.

In recent months a new organisation has emerged – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – and police have blamed several arson attacks on what they call its “armed wing”, the Eastern Security Network.

​Buhari, furious at these attacks on election offices and police stations, tweeted: “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

His menacing tone triggers Twitter’s woke squad and they promptly deleted it.

The Nigerian government then reacted by banning Twitter indefinitely and the country’s telecoms operators complied immediately, leaving only a small number of…

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