Twitter has removed a post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari because it violated its terms of service.
The tweet alluded to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970, as well as treating “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand.”
It comes after a recent wave of office attacks, primarily in the south-east, that have been blamed on regional secessionists.
Twitter’s move was deemed unfair by Nigeria’s information minister, who referred to it as “double standards.”
According to the BBC’s Joshua Ajayi in Lagos, this is the first time the president’s tweet has been deleted.
The tweet, which was sent on Tuesday, stated: “Many of those who are misbehaving today are too young to remember the devastation and loss of life that occurred during Nigeria’s civil war. Those of us who spent 30 months in the fields and went through the war will treat them in the language they understand.”
According to a Twitter spokesperson, the post “was in violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service. The account owner will be required to delete the infringing Tweet and spend 12 hours in read-only mode with their account “.. There were no further details provided in the statement.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Buhari’s Twitter account still stated that one tweet was “no longer available.”
The account, however, had also retweeted a video from the president, along with the quote: “Whoever wishes to destroy the system will soon experience the shock of their lives. We’ve given them enough time… we’ll speak to them in their language.”
In his tweet, Mr. Buhari made no mention of any specific group.
Authorities have accused banned separatists of recent attacks, including arson, on electoral offices and police stations in Nigeria’s south-east.
According to our correspondent, Joshua Ajayi, many people were outraged on social media about the president’s tone, which they believed was much harsher than he had used in his condemnation of banditry or attacks by Boko Haram militants in the north.
The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, was fought over the state of Biafra’s attempted secession. The 30-month conflict resulted in the defeat of the secessionist forces, with over a million people killed, the majority of whom were civilians as a result of starvation.
The Nigerian government was enraged by Twitter’s move.
“Twitter may have its own rules; it is not the universal rule,” said Information Minister Lai Mohammed, adding that if the president was “concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”
He claimed that Twitter had not prohibited incitement tweets from other groups.
Twitter has a long and detailed list of content that should not be used in tweets, including abusive behavior, harassment, discrimination, and violent threats, with varying levels of repercussions for breaking the rules, including post removal and account suspension or deletion.
Former US President Donald Trump was probably the most high-profile figure to be suspended, over incitement of violence following attacks on the US Capitol in January.