Nigeria has blocked Twitter on the internet after a media company fired its President and President Muhammadu Buhari for threatening a violent uprising in the southeast.
Many internet users in a predominantly African country use mobile phones to access the internet.
Information Minister Lai Muhammad said on Friday afternoon that the management had suspended Twitter for “continuous use of the platform on issues that could harm the Nigerian company”.
The website continued to be available throughout the evening but on Saturday mornings, it was only available via the internet.
About 68m Nigerians subscribe to mobile phone plans, which are often distributed among multiple users, a number that is similar to those using regular broadband, according to December learning and the World Bank and the GSMA mobile phone sales team.
Twitter has said it is investigating the “major” suspension and will offer updates.
The suspension comes just months after Twitter chose neighboring Ghana as its first African office, crossing Africa’s largest market, Nigeria, which is seen as a financial symbol for Ghana and many Nigerian governments.
The Nigerian government has come up with an idea to establish broadcasting channels, especially in light of the widespread protests against police last year.
The latest change came after Twitter Wednesday downloaded Buhari’s tweet which threatened the perpetrators of violence in the southeastern part of the country over Nigeria’s last 1960 civil war.
The government has condemned the recent violence in the region, which includes the explosions of prisons, the burning of polling stations and the killing of police officers, in the banned Jewish group Biafran.
“Most of the perpetrators today are too young to know about the devastation and loss of life that took place during the Nigerian Civil War,” Buhari wrote Tuesday in areas previously evacuated.
“Those of us who have been in the field for 30 months, those we met in the war, we will share with them a language they understand.”
Twitter claimed that the statement violates its harsh principles, which prohibit “seeking, expecting, encouraging, encouraging, or reporting death, serious bodily injury or serious illness against a person or a group of people”.
Buhari, who ruled as a dictator in the early 1980s, took part in the 1967-1970 civil war, also known as the Biafran war, in which about 1m Biafrans is said to be starving.