Former President Donald Trump today issued a statement supporting the Nigerian government’s decision to suspend Twitter activities in the West African country.
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President,” he said in the statement.
The ex-President also encouraged other countries to follow in Nigeria’s footsteps and ban not only Twitter but Facebook too.
“More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech — all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil? Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?,” he added.
Trump’s praise is coming days after Nigeria suspended Twitter indefinitely last Friday after the platform deleted Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet for violating its abusive behaviour policy and several calls by Nigerians to take it down. His tweet threatened punishment on secessionists in the southeastern part of the country.
Although the Nigerian President, via his spokesperson, later declared that the state-wide ban on Twitter was only a temporary measure to curb misinformation and fake news, new directives suggest otherwise. In a bid to stifle free speech and endorse censorship, the government ordered broadcasting media in the country to delete their Twitter accounts and stop using the platform as a news source on Monday.
“In compliance to the above directive, broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in,” an excerpt of the statement read.
Trump, on the other hand, has been on the receiving end of a ban. In early January, he was permanently banned from Twitter after instigating the Capitol revolt. “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” he said at the time.
He was subsequently suspended indefinitely on Facebook and last Friday, the social media juggernaut announced that it would reconsider the suspension of Trump in two years’ time.