Twitter: I’m not surprised at Buhari’s behaviour — Soyinka

Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka says he is not surprised President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Twitter operations in Nigeria.

Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed had in a statement on Friday cited the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence” as reason behind the suspension.

The move is considered as reprisal following the removal of Buhari’s tweet in reference to the Nigerian civil war of 1967-70 on Tuesday. Twitter said the tweet violated its policies.

Lending his voice to the outrage that has greeted the suspension, Soyinka said in a statement on Friday night, “Kindly add my total lack of surprise at this petulant gesture, unbecoming of a democratically elected president. If Buhari has a problem with Twitter, he is advised to sort it out between them personally, the way Donald Trump did, not rope in the right to free expression of the Nigerian citizen as collateral damage.”

The renowned playwright and poet added that he expects Nigerians to find a way around it.

“In any case, this is a technical problem Nigerians should be able to work their way around. The field of free expression remains wide open, free of any dictatorial spasms,” he concluded.