The Nigerian government has suspended Twitter indefinitely two days after the removal of a Tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari for violating the site’s rules.
A statement by Information Minister Lai Mohammed on the suspension cited, “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
While Mohammed did not spell out what form the suspension would take or give more details on the undermining activities, Punch Newspapers in Nigeria reported on Friday that Twitter was still accessible in the country despite the suspension.
His ministry also announced Twitter’s suspension on the same microblogging site. Read the statement:
_The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria._
_The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence._
_The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting l Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria._
_Segun Adeyemi @SegunAde88 Special Assistant To The President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture Abuja._
Reuters reports, however, that as of the early hours of Saturday, Twitter’s website was inaccessible in Nigeria on some mobile carriers, while its app and website worked on others.
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Meanwhile, Twitter announced in a statement that it is investigating its “deeply concerning” suspension of operations by the Nigerian government, and “will provide updates when we know more.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. tech firm said Buhari’s post threatening to punish groups blamed for attacks on government buildings had violated Twitter’s “abusive behaviour” policy.
In April, the information minister reacted angrily when Twitter chose neighbouring Ghana for its first African office. He said the company had been influenced by media misrepresentations of Nigeria, including reports of crackdowns on protests last year.