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Deleted Tweets: FG accuses Twitter of double standard

In the wake of the removal of the contentious tweets by the President, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the Federal Government on Wednesday accused Twitter of double standard.

FG’s position was contained in a statement by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja.

Twitter had deleted tweets of the president which bizarrely harped on experience from the Nigerian Civil War in clear threats to deal decisively with armed secessionists in the South East region of the country.

The president had said in his series of tweets via his verified handle @mbuhari on Tuesday that:

“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.”

The social media giant, however, found the tweets offensive and instantly deleted them with a caveat, “this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”

The decision was greeted with praise from Nigerians on social media, but the same cannot be said of the government who frowned at the embarrassment for the president.

Reacting to the deleted tweets, the Minister for information described the action as double standard by the social media giant.

“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,” he said.

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