Barely 24 hours into the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as President of Nigeria on May 29, 2015, Twitter Nigeria officially verified the handle @NGRPresident as the official Twitter handle of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Similarly, Twitter also verified @FLON – First Lady of Nigeria. The @NGRPresident handle now belongs to President Muhammadu Buhari while the @FLON handle now belongs to Aisha Buhari as First Lady of Nigeria.
A careful interrogation of the accounts shows clearly that these accounts are not newly created accounts but already existing private accounts of Muhammadu Buhari and Aisha Buhari which have been active and in use for the Buhari Presidential campaign even before he won the presidential elections of March 28, 2015. They were simply updated and verified within 24 hours of Buhari’s inauguration. The @FLON handle of Aisha Buhari was brazenly verified by Twitter on May 28, 2015 even before the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as President. This is morally incorrect and a violation of Twitter’s policy ethics.
The @NGRPresident was announced by @MBuhari as the official handle of the President on Friday May 29, 2015 shortly after Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration.
These two people only became president and first lady today. The @FLON handle has a tweet that was tweeted on April 17, 2015 that says “#CountDowntoChange” which suggests that Aisha Buhari and her handlers have been sitting on this handle. A similar trend is obvious with the @NGRPresident handle as shown in the screenshot above.
Something is definitely fishy here and betrays the distasteful partisanship of the staff and handlers at Twitter Nigeria. More repugnant is the fact that the official and verified handle of Twitter in Nigeria – @TwitterNigeria has been re-tweeting pro Buhari campaign tweets even before his victory at the March 28, 2015 polls was announced and subsequently, his official inauguration on May 29, 2015 as President. Pray, what is the business of the official and verified Twitter handle of Twitter Nigeria with partisan politics? Is this not a careless violation of the non-partisan ethics of Twitter as a global social media corporation?
From their tweeting history, the @NGRPresident and @FLON handles have been active and in existence even before Buhari’s victory and inauguration. So why were the handles not made available for the official use of the offices of President Goodluck Jonathan and Dame Patience Jonathan before today?
Apparently these two handles have been in the possession of Buhari’s handlers who clearly are working in partisan collusion with the staff at Twitter Nigeria. The Editorial Board of BREAKING TIMES observes that this is a breach of social media ethics and protocol on the part of Buhari’s team and on the part of Twitter Nigeria. The sheer moral repugnance of it is condemnable.
Worse still, that the official and verified handle of Twitter in Nigeria would retweet pro Buhari political tweets smacks nothing but a partisan mess that Twitter must correct and internally reprimand to preserve its corporate image and serve as a deterrent to erring staff who are dragging the name of the brand into partisan politics.
There is certainly the need for Twitter to investigate the circumstances surrounding their Nigeria operations and how the @NGRPresident and @FLON handles got verified. It will be a disaster for Twitter if partisan supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari are running its corporate Nigerian operations. It simply means that the Nigerian opposition is no longer safe on Twitter and all their private conversations may be spied upon and compromised by these partisan loyalists of the President working with Twitter.
That Twitter Nigeria would verify the official handle of the highest office in the land and hold it back from the legitimate occupant of that office until a later date when a ‘preferred’ President assumes office is to say the least, reprehensible.
BT EDITORIAL – 30/05/2015