By: JIMI DAVID
A former United States President, Donald Trump, has showered encomium on the Nigerian government for banning Twitter, urging other countries to follow suit.
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President. More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech — all voices should be heard,” Trump wrote in a statement on his website.
“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.”
Trump, an avid Twitter user who drew huge controversies before he was banned from accessing the social media accounts, made this statement days after he was suspended by Facebook for two years.
Trump’s Twitter account was in January suspended over claims that he had used the platform to incite his followers to invade the Capitol, sparking a riot that led to the death of at least four persons.
Other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram also suspended Mr Trump’s accounts indefinitely on similar grounds, before a panel reduced the suspension to two years.
The Nigerian government on June 4 said it had suspended the operations of Twitter indefinitely over allegations that the social networking company was meddling in Nigeria’s internal affairs.
The suspension has drawn worldwide condemnation, but the government has doubled down on its resolve, saying it will lift the ban only when it is sure that “responsible communication” can be forged on the platform.
The government is also mulling regulating other social media platforms and there are suspicions that moderating the use of the internet is underway.
This is reminiscent of General Muhammadu Buhari regime as military head of state between 1983 and 1985 when he clamped down on the free speech, closing down media houses and sending journalists to jail under the draconian Decree 4 of 1984. Two journalists, Nduka Irabor and Tunde Thompson were sent to prison while The Guardian Newspaper was fined under the obnoxious law.