Former United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a statement praising the decision to suspend Twitter operations in Nigeria.
“Congratulations to … Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their president,” Trump said.
The controversial former president also used the incident to call for more countries to follow Nigeria’s lead and restrict access to Twitter and Facebook, both of which he currently has no access to, “for not allowing free and open speech.”
Trump further said, ‘In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil?’
He pondered whether “I should have done it while I was president,” but suggested he never did because Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg frequently complimented him while he was in office and then finished the statement with a maybe-not-so cryptic “2024?”
The statement falsely said that Twitter had banned Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. The social media company had removed a tweet from Buhari that was seen as threatening separatist movements, with Twitter saying that it violated its policies.
Trump’s statement also appeared to conflate the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Wednesday reiterated that Twitter was suspended because it provided an avenue for those that are threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria also addressed the Twitter ban in a statement, condemning Nigeria for the ban.
‘Nigeria’s constitution provides for freedom of expression. The Government’s recent Twitter ban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a poor message to its citizens, investors and businesses,’ the mission tweeted.
‘Banning social media and curbing every citizen’s ability to seek, receive, and impart information undermines fundamental freedoms.’