Nigeria bans Twitter after deleting President Buhari’s tweet

Nigeria’s government has indefinitely suspended Twitter’s operations in the country.

In a statement, which was posted on the ministry’s official Twitter handle on Friday, the government accused Twitter of allowing its platform to be used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Some pointed out the irony of announcing the ban on Twitter, with one person replying: “You’re using Twitter to suspend Twitter? Are you not mad?”

The suspension comes two days after Twitter deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that was widely perceived as offensive.

In that tweet on Tuesday, the Nigerian leader threatened to deal with people in the country’s southeast, who he blames for the recurring attacks on public infrastructure in the region.

The tweet was deleted Wednesday after many Nigerians flagged it to Twitter and the platform said it had violated its policy on abusive behaviour.

A Twitter trend “Thank God For VPN” has gone viral on the app as many Nigerians celebrate their ability to circumvent the Twitter ban, through the use of a virtual private network (VPN).

Users who are logged into a secured VPN server can access public networks while their internet connection remains anonymous and encrypted.