Muhammadu Buhari, a citizen of Nigeria, appears to have become a special ambassador for Indian social media platform Koo, since his photograph was included on the app’s social media promotion, promising “exclusive updates from him exclusively on Koo App!”
In June, the app Koo, which is comparable to Twitter, was released in Nigeria. This came shortly after the Nigerian government imposed a ban on Twitter and its activities in the nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to punish regional secessionists in the country’s South-East area in a post that was deleted by Twitter two days later.
As official federal government social media sites stopped tweeting and switched to Koo, Koo’s popularity skyrocketed.
Top government officials, presidential aides, government agencies, and other pro-government figures joined Koo.
According to the federal government, all social media platforms functioning in Nigeria must now be registered as a corporate entity in the country. One of the preconditions for the removal of the Twitter ban was that the same requirement be met.
Since then, the Indian microblogging site has stepped in to capitalize on the trend, preparing to open a physical presence in Nigeria and engage with key influencers.
Aprameya Radhakrishna, a co-founder of Koo, suggested on Twitter:
“In Nigeria, @kooindia is available. We’re considering supporting local languages as well. “How do you feel?”
Within days after the Twitter suspension, Koo was accessible in the Apple and Google app stores, and employment vacancies for local language speakers were advertised on LinkedIn.
The circumstances behind Koo’s launch to Nigeria are identical to those surrounding its introduction to its native market.
Thousands of farmers began protesting three problematic agricultural regulations once Koo was introduced, and many others turned to Twitter to express their displeasure. The Indian government has asked that Twitter ban accounts belonging to several news organizations and political parties, claiming that they are disseminating false information.
Because the Prime Minister Modi-led government did not accept Twitter’s loud support for freedom of expression, Koo positioned itself as a government-friendly alternative. As a result, it became a forum for spreading anti-Muslim sentiments and hate speech.
In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has made it clear that he wants to exert control over social media, which has been widely utilized by activists and opposition organizations to question government narratives.
Under the pretext of combating “misinformation,” Nigeria’s ministry of information and culture has enforced increasingly strict rules.
The new advertisement using Mr Buhari as the face of Koo in Nigeria has been slammed by the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a civic society organization.
“It’s a pity the #TwitterBan has lasted this long, considering the economic catastrophe it’s proven to be for young people who rely on Twitter for their employment.
We find this commercial from #koo, another microblogging network, both unethical and unpleasant for obvious reasons.
On Sunday, CDD tweeted, “KeepitOn.”