Indian microblogging and social networking app Koo on Thursday announced that the Government of Nigeria has set up an official account on the platform, looking at making deeper inroads into the African nation.
The development comes in the backdrop of a standoff between the Nigerian government and Koo rival, Twitter. Last week, the Nigerian government had announced an indefinite suspension of the US social media platform in that country.
Koo co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna in a post on Koo said, The official handle of the government of Nigeria is now on Koo! Interestingly, he also shared the information on Twitter saying : A very warm welcome to the official handle of the Government of Nigeria on @kooindia ! Spreading wings beyond India now.
The Nigerian government blocked access to Twitter on 5 June, after the company had deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari threatening to punish regional secessionists in the country. The country accused the micro-blogging platform of spreading fake newsning “Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
“There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences,” the government said at the time. The country’s Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami he had directed the authorities to prosecute “offenders of the Federal Government ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria”.
However, former US President Donald Trump, whose account has been suspended by Twitter, congratulated Nigeria for banning Twitter and said more countries should do so. “More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech — all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil? Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?” TechCrunch quoted him as saying.
Twitter said on June 5 that it was ‘deeply concerned’ after Nigeria blocked the platform.
“Access to free and open internet is an essential right in modern human society. We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world,” the company said in a statement issued from its public policy account.