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FG accuses Twitter of suspicious moves towards nation’s affairs

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The Federal Government describing the role of social media giant Twitter, as suspicious , lashed out at the company for playing alleged double standards in national matters .

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this in reaction to questions over the deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets reminiscing Nigerians’ experiences during the civil war.

The Minister accused the social media giant of conveniently ignoring inciting tweets by leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and his cohorts and displaying biases during the #ENDSARS protest.

The President, in series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle, @MBuhari, had 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.”

Twitter, however, deleted the tweet, stating, “this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules”.

In a reaction to Twitter’s action, Mohammed said: “Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule. If Mr. President, anywhere in the world feels very bad and concern 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.

“The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very, very suspect. Has Twitter deleted the violent tweets that Nnamdi Kanu has been sending? Has it?

“The same Twitter during the EndSARS protests that was funding EndSARS protesters, it was the first to close the account of former president of US, 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 on the Capitol (US Congress), it became insurrection.”

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

“How does Mr. President speech that anybody who is destroyed infrastructure, who is destroying police offices, who is destroying INEC offices should be ready for the consequences…Is that inciting violence?”

Fatimah Oyesanmi

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