On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet following a public outcry wherein he threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.
Buhari who shared the tweet on Tuesday spoke about the civil war experience and threatened to deal with those “bent on destroying” Nigeria through “insurrection”.
His tweet read: “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”, he said.
Twitter which prohibits a number of actions from users, including violence, abuse and hateful conduct said:
“This tweet violated the Twitter Rules,” it noted.
“Users may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people; engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so, nor promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
It is not immediately clear if the platform will take further action against the president.
Buhari who posted the message while warning those “misbehaving in certain parts of the country”, particularly in the southeast where government infrastructures have been under attack, was tackled by Nigerians over the statement, citing his reference to the civil war in which millions of Nigerians mostly the Igbos were killed as a threat to commit human rights violations.
Some Nigerians called on Twitter to suspend his account, arguing that the president’s tweet “expresses intentions of self-harm or suicide”, as stated on Twitter’s usage policy.
Twitter did not provide further details on the action, but it said in its policy referenced that when it takes such measure, it is sometimes because “the behaviour violates the Twitter rules.”