Nigeria: Trump congratulates Buhari for Twitter ban, calls other countries to follow

U.S. President Trump meets with Nigeria's President Buhari at the White House in Washington. (File photo)

Former United President Donald Trump has congratulated Nigeria’s President Buhari on his ban of Twitter operations in his country.

President Trump issued a statement on Tuesday, supporting the Nigerian government’s decision to suspend Twitter activities in the West African country, which is Africa’s largest economy.

In his statement, Trump said: “Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President,” as he also encouraged other countries to follow in Nigeria’s footsteps and ban Twitter and Facebook.

“More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech — all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil? Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?,” Trump added.

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It will be recalled that, Trump had been on the receiving end of not one but two Twitter bans, as in early January, 2021, he was permanently banned from Twitter after instigating the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol, which Twitter cited as concerns over the “risk of further incitement of violence.”

Consequently, Trump was also subsequently suspended indefinitely on Facebook. And only last Friday, Facebook announced its decision to reconsider Trump’s suspension in two years (which starts counting from January).

“At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded,” Vice‑President for Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, Nick Clegg said.

“When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”

The approval of Nigeria’s Twitter ban from the controversial Trump is coming only days after Nigeria suspended Twitter indefinitely.

Nigerian government had taken action against Twitter last Friday, days after Twitter deleted Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet, after several calls by Nigerians to take it down, and it was brought down, after Twitter claimed the tweet violated its abusive behaviour policy.

But Buhari’s tweet had warned punishment on the insurrectionists under the aegis of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) calling for secession in the southeastern part of the country.

Following the Twitter ban, the Nigerian President spokesperson, later declared that the state-wide ban on Twitter was only a temporary measure he said was meant to curb misinformation and fake news, but the new n given to telecoms operators and media houses suggest otherwise.

The government, had on Monday, three days after the Twitter ban, ordered news and broadcasting media to delete their Twitter accounts and stop using the platform as a news sources, which Nigerians who opposed the move said further confirmed a ploy to stifle free speech and enforce censorship.

“In compliance to the above directive, broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in,” an excerpt of government’s statement read.