The Nigerian government has suspended Twitter’s operations in the country, said the Ministry of Information and Culture on June 4.
“The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” it read.
The statement posted on the official Twitter handle of the Ministry accused the American based social media company of using the platform “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The move from the government has come two days after Twitter took down a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s account for violating its rules.
But the move of the Nigerian government has invited widespread criticism from various corners. Amnesty International urged Nigeria to reverse the “unlawful suspension” immediately.
“This is the height of muzzling the freedom of expression that can only happen in dictatorships,” said Bulama Bukarti, an analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, on Twitter.
“It will go down in history as one Buhari’s biggest mistakes and PR disasters.”
Earlier in 2019, Nigeria had announced tightening regulations on social media to fight fake news and disinformation. The move, however, had sparked concerns over freedom of expression.