The recent deletion of a tweet of President Mohammadu Buhari by social media giant, Twitter has continued to generate reactions from the public. It should be recalled that recently, the number one citizen of Nigeria took to his verified Twitter handle to comment on the current happenings in the country. The president while commenting on the issues of attacks and killings in the Southeast region, stated that every day, he receives update on the security situation in the country.
He went further to state that “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”. This statement sparked reactions from the public who referred to it as a war threat and subsequently reported the post to Twitter.
Having received the report, Twitter reviewed the post and decided to delete the post for violation of rules. The deletion of the post has furthermore attracted the attention of the public who appears to be divided about it. To many, it is a welcomed development, while to some, the post should not have been deleted. On the part of the federal government, the decision of Twitter to delete the post implies that the social media giant is playing a double standard on issues concerning Nigeria, and makes its activities in the country to be suspicious.
On neutral ground, I am of a firm belief that the decision of Twitter to delete the post is commendable. This is because the country’s unity is currently under threat due to the agitations for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra and Oduduwa Republic. As such, any comment that the public deems as a threat of war on any group or region is capable of inciting people and/or groups against each other. Therefore, the decision of Twitter to delete the post is commendable.
It should be recalled that the recent sit-at-home order issued by the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) across the southeast region was to remember and honour those who lost their lives during the Civil War. This points to the fact that the memories of the war are still fresh in the people’s hearts. As such, any statement deemed to be a threat to another civil war could create chaos in the country and further worsen the already bad state of the nation.