Nigerian government orders prosecution of violators

Government orders prosecution of violators
Twitter took down a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the week, though no direct connection has been drawn. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Nigeria will prosecute anyone found to have breached the country’s ban on Twitter, a Nigerian government spokesperson has said.

The government announced on Friday it was suspending the social media firm’s operations in the country.

Mobile phone networks blocked access after being ordered by the government to do so, but some users are getting around the ban.

The move comes after the social media giant deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari for breaching the site’s rules.

Some users saw Mr Buhari’s post, which referred to Nigeria’s civil war four decades ago, as a veiled threat towards a secessionist movement in the south-east of the country.

On Saturday, his government said the tweet’s removal was “disappointing”, but not the only reason for the “temporary” suspension.

Nigerian government said: “There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences.”

Twitter said in a statement that the announcement of a ban on Friday by Information Minister Lai Mohammed was “deeply concerning”.

The move also brought widespread condemnation from international powers and human rights groups, who say it will limit free speech in Nigeria.

Justice Minister Abubakar Malami said in a statement that he had “directed for immediate prosecution of offenders of the Federal Government ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria”, telling the public prosecutor to “swing into action”.

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