Facebook, another social media platform, has removed a controversial statement posted via President Muhammadu Buhari’s official page.
The President had on Tuesday threatened to treat insurrectionists and those attacking facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) like Nigerian soldiers treated the rebels during the civil war. Mr Buhari, a retired general fought during the war which claimed the lives of over one million persons.
“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.
The statement, which many suggested to be a subtle threat of ‘genocide’, was first deleted by Twitter, a micro-blogging platform.
The platform said it removed the tweet for violating its terms and conditions.
Facebook follows suit
However, on Friday, Facebook, following reports from many Nigerian users, removed the same post from its platform.
“In line with our global policies, we’ve removed a post from President Buhari’s Facebook page for violating our Community Standards against inciting violence. We remove any content, from individuals or organisations that violates our policies on Facebook,” the platform stated.
Although the post is no longer available on Mr Buhari’s timeline, it is sustained on other Facebook accounts including his aide’s, Femi Adesina.
It is, however, unclear if the Nigerian government would suspend the operations of Facebook as it did to Twitter earlier today for bringing down the same statement.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension of Twitter, citing the alleged use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
According to the statement signed by a special assistant to the Nigerian President, office of the minister, Segun Adeyemi, the minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all social media operations in Nigeria.
Mr Mohammed had earlier claimed the social media site’s response to Nigeria was “suspect”.
Mr Mohammed has for long championed the call for regulation of social media in the country, claiming the platforms are used to spew hate.
Mr Buhari made the controversial comments which have now earned him sanctions from the social media platforms when he received a briefing from the Chairman of the INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, at the State House, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Yakubu had briefed the president on a series of attacks on facilities of the electoral body around the country.
There have been several attacks on INEC facilities lately, especially around the South-east and the South-south regions.
Police and prison facilities, including court buildings, have been similarly attacked in the regions.
Several security officials have been killed in the attacks.