The Nigerian government announced Friday it had indefinitely suspended Twitter’s operations in the West African country — but drew mockery for posting its statement about the ban on Twitter.
Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the country had “suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.”
The statement, posted on the ministry’s official Twitter account, cited “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The suspension came two days after the social media giant deleted a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists.
Despite Friday’s announcement, the Associated Press reported users could still access Twitter late Friday, and many said they would simply use VPNs to maintain access to the platform.
Reuters reported that a ministerial aide said, “wait and see how things will turn out” when asked how the suspension would be enforced. The wire service also reported that Twitter’s website was inaccessible in Nigeria on some mobile carriers, while its app and website worked on others.
On Wednesday, Twitter deleted a post from Buhari that warned separatist militants in the southeast of the country that they could expect a “rude shock.”
“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,” he tweeted, referring to the Biafra Conflict, which killed 1 million people between 1967 and 1970. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
In addition to deleting the post for violating its “abusive behavior” policy, Buhari’s account was suspended for 12 hours.
In recent months, pro-Biafra separatists have been accused of attacking police and government buildings. However, the banned separatist group the Indigenous People of Biafra has repeatedly denied involvement.
With Post wires