Nigeria indefinitely suspended social network service Twitter on Friday, following Twitter’s removal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s post for violating rules of service. The ban was announced in a series of posts by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
President Buhari’s now-deleted tweet referred to the 1967 Nigerian Civil War and suggested that violence against secessionists might be appropriate. Armed gangs, potentially related to separatist movements, have carried out attacks on the police in recent weeks. President Buhari served as a general in the Civil War, which last from 1967-1970.
In a statement, Amnesty International condemned the move, calling it “incompatible with Nigeria’s international obligations including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
The Nigerian government also directed the Nigerian National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to license all streaming services and social media operations in Nigeria. A government spokesperson has also said anyone using Twitter despite the ban will be prosecuted.