The social media company says the message violated its policy of abusive behavior, prompting a 12-hour account suspension.
Twitter has removed a post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari threatening to punish regional secessionists guilty of attacks on government buildings.
The move came on Wednesday when Buhari’s tweet, referring to a civil war in the southeastern Biafra region, violated the social media company’s abusive behavior policy, prompting a suspension of his account. for 12 hours.
The two-and-a-half-year conflict began in 1967 and more than a million people died due to fighting, disease and starvation.
Buhari, who served in the army against secessionists and was Nigeria’s military ruler in the 1980s, tweeted on Tuesday that many people who misbehaved today were too young to remember the deaths and destruction of the civil war.
“Those of us who have been in the camp for 30 months, who spent the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” he warned in the tweet that he withdrew.
Nigeria has seen a series of arson attacks on polling stations and police stations in recent weeks, especially in the southeast. Officers have also been killed.
Authorities have blamed a banned separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and what police call their armed wing, the Eastern Security Network. The IPOB has repeatedly denied their involvement.
Some social media users criticized Buhari’s tweet before it was removed, accusing him of targeting Igbo people from the southeast’s largest ethnic group. IPOB has influence in the region and its efforts to revive feelings about Biafra have led to a crackdown by security agencies in recent years.
Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, dismissed the Twitter action and said Buhari had every right to express dismay at the violence of a banned organization.
“Twitter can have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule,” he told reporters. “If Mr. President anywhere in the world feels very bad and worried about a situation, he is free to express those opinions.”
In the last attack in early May, gunmen dead at least seven Nigerian police officers at the southern Rivers State oil center amid a deteriorating security situation in the region. In June, Rivers State banned people from crossing borders at night in an attempt to stop the killings of police, customs officers, civil defense officers and soldiers.
A deteriorating security situation is also developing in the north of the country where, since December, bandits have abducted more than 700 people from schools and armed groups have killed many soldiers and civilians.