The German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was racist when he wrote about the ‘inferiority' of African culture but appeared right about the temperamental and emotional nature of black Africans; a pointed type of sensitivity that revealed itself in President Muhammadu Buhari, when he let his emotions extremely stream out heatedly.
In his targeted tweet, Buhari warned the Igbo people of Nigeria, stating that “those misbehaving today" would be “treated in the language they understand.” Buhari was making a reference to the Nigerian Civil War between 1967-1970 in which more than one million people died. Good God, what a tweet, who does that?
Twitter deleted Buhari's abusive post, calling it offensive and harsh, for threatening the suspected separatist activists in the southeast. Twitter had only suspended his account for 12 hours.
As if Hegel’s views about African’s emotionality was right, Buhari and his authority made a quick reactive judgment to suspend Twitter’s operations indefinitely. A big mistake!
Buhari’s government claimed that it blocked the site because it had been used for dissident purposes and criminal activities but most people around the world, saw it as a raw enraged response that may have cost grave economic and social consequences to millions of people.
It may have cost lives, especially when vital public organizations like the Nigeria Center for Disease Control had been utilizing Twitter to disseminate information about the spread of the coronavirus.
During the Buharian injunction or suspension, the organization’s Twitter account became inactive. I will not be surprised if now or in the future, Buhari as a person and leader does not face court actions to compensate victims of wrongful twitter suspension.
Some hours ago, President Buhari lifted the ban on Twitter after seven months.
Buhari’s apparent sentimental reaction to Twitter, impacted million internet users in the country and cost the country’s economy more than $1.4 billion, Wow. All because of emotionality! A very costly reaction to a developing economy.
Especially at a time when the Nigerian people are experiencing enormous economic hardship and unemployment rate is extremely poor.
While the Buhari government said Twitter agreed to give its officials the capability to take down tweets it considers a threat to Nigeria’s security, well, that was exactly what Twitter did when it deleted the threatening post from Buhari. Just like it did to former American President Donald Trump who repeatedly violated Twitter’s rules until been permanently suspended from Twitter and other social media platforms.
The Buhari government told us that “many agreements had been reached” with the mega social media platform which include committing to establishing a legal entity in Nigeria, agreeing to appointing a selected country representative to work with the Nigerian government. However, Twitter as part of its global rule to commit to freedom of expression, responded to the restoration of Twitter in Nigeria, by saying its “…mission in Nigeria and around the world, is to serve the public conversation,” in order words, telling Buhari and his government to expand civic communication.
We have so much disturbing regional and community stresses in Nigeria, so if Twitter can find a way to allow itself to be an added value for commercial and positive engagements, it will be very appreciated.
What Buhari needs to understand is that Twitter has this major rule known as the ‘glorification of violence’ policy, which aims to prevent direct or indirect endorsement of violence that could inspire others to engage in violent expressions and acts.
If in the coming days, weeks, and months, Buhari, as the President of Nigeria makes the least mistake again and break the company's rules regarding "glorifying violence", he will get the Donald Trump’ treatment, short-term and even permanent suspension of his account.
President Buhari, even if you house Twitter platform’s local office in Aso Villa, the minute you violate their rules as it relates to words of abusive behaviors towards any group in Nigeria including bandits in the North or Biafrans in the East or self-determination groups in the West and Niger Delta, Twitter will discipline you.
Should Twitter deem your words as repeatedly hateful, or promoting violence, your account could permanently under suspension just like that of trump.
This they will do in a typical American way with impartiality and equal treatment.
They do not give a f4k about needs, feelings, emotions, and the status of the individual, as no one is above rules and must not use the social media to incite violence directly or indirectly.
Trump has been going from court to court, asking judges to force Twitter to restore his account, instead the courts agreed with the social media megaphone that any company’s punishment for tweet that violates the platforms rules, regarding potential real-world dangers, such glorification of violence, stands.
Buhari, do not allow this to happen to you. Sir, no bigman/madam/VIP or highly placed person exclusion ooo, sorry, it does not work like that outside Nigeria.
In passing, tell your ministries and agencies, and their officials that any tweet that is defamatory, show harassment, malicious to citizens or businesses, grossly deceptive, or offensive towards one’s character, or revealing citizens personal information, or even illegally copied tweets can land them in trouble with Twitter. Remember that I counseled you on this ooo.
Mr. President, as you are about to leave office in 17 months and return to Daura, Katsina to tend your cattle, we would like to keep hearing from you on social media, about your Agriculture journey. So, monitor your words and postings whether it is you or your aids doing the posting in twitter and other social media platforms.
Again, Twitter’s policies are designed to make sure that individuals are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, they must remove them from the service and their policies do not allow people to come back.
I know the unnecessary killings are becoming emotionally distressing but you, and your officials should fight against that Hegelian philosophy regarding Africans strong reactions, which could show up as emotional provocations towards Twitter's rules. No more digital vexation especially the type that —will make Buhari so angry again and retaliate by blocking access to social media sites. Stop it! Nigerians, twitter is back, Hurrah!
John Egbeazien Oshodi who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government Consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional and Career Development. A former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at the Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African settings. In 2011, he introduced the State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and the Nasarawa State University where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. A Virtual behavioral Leadership Professor at the ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the Proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, Openness. Author of over forty academic publications/creations, at least 200 public opinion writeups on African issues, and various books. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]