Twitter removes tweet by Nigeria’s president

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari

A tweet by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari threatening punishment for regional secessionists who are being blamed for attacks on government buildings has been removed by the platform.

Twitter said the post, referring to a civil war in the southeastern Biafra region, violated the social media company’s abusive behaviour policy. As a result, President Buhari’s account has been suspended for 12 hours.

Buhari served in the army against the secessionists and was Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s. He tweeted on Tuesday that many people misbehaving today were too young to remember the deaths and destruction from the 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 tweeted.

His tweet drew immediate backlash before it was taken down.

According to Aljazeera Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed said Buhari had every right to express dismay at violence by a banned organisation.

“Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule,” he told reporters. “If Mr president anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”