Donald Trump is congratulating the Nigerian government for essentially shutting down Twitter after the social media giant deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s account over rules violations.
“Congratulations to the county of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their president,” the former U.S. President reportedly said in a statement.
“More countries should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free open speech — all voices should be heard.”
The statement was posted to Twitter by reporters from outlets including the Independent because Trump himself was banned from that platform, as well as Facebook, following the deadly Jan. 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol during an event he used social media to promote. The 45th president had steadily used Twitter to spread disinformation following his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump warned in his statement Tuesday that “competitors” would emerge if social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook continue to enforce rules for users.
Trump added that perhaps he should have banned Twitter and Facebook when he was in the White House, but claimed he was dissuaded by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the latter platform, whom the former president said called and visited him to bestow flattery.
“2024?” Trump concluded his remarks.
The social media site had previously removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened retribution against secessionists for alleged attacks on government buildings. Buhari’s account was also temporarily suspended. He has been criticized for strong-arm tactics when dealing with dissent.
Trump was among the most followed figures on Twitter when his account was suspended at the start of the year. He briefly launched a blog, which failed to generate much interest. The former president, who turns 75 next week, remains popular with his right-wing base.