A Nigerian man who replied to Trump’s message that he will be working and answering calls during his vacation in Bedminster by tweeting a picture of a shirtless Putin holding a fish was forced to remove it after being threatened with legal action.
Solomon Akparaye, a shop keeper from Kano state in northern Nigeria says he was contacted on Twitter and told that he could be looking at a lengthy jail sentence if he didn’t remove his post immediately.
“I didn’t mean any harm, I was bored at work and catching up on what’s trending on Twitter and thought it’d be a little fun. Unfortunately I was harassed by Trump supporters and then contacted by someone who said he’s from the Government authorities and they can find me wherever I am. I had to remove it immediately.”
He said the message wasn’t vulgar or abusive in anyway. “It’s just I noticed that Trump and Putin were all vacationing at the same time so I just tweeted a picture of Putin at Trump with just the words ‘enjoy your vacation’ and then all hell broke loose.”
“The man who contacted me on Twitter gave me two options, to remove the tweet or face jail. I chose the easy way out. I don’t like unnecessary conflicts,”he said.
Mr Akparaye, who admits he has a limited understanding of the law says he complied and removed the image immediately and when he told his wife what had happened, his wife asked him for his Twitter login details and she just deleted his account.
He said his wife had in the past complained about how much time he spends on social media but he had told her that he enjoys keeping himself up to date with current affairs.
“I had about 800 followers, I’m distraught,” he said before adding that he prefers to lose his Twitter followers than end up with an unnecessary jail sentence.
Asked if he knows of any law he may have violated or if he had been hoodwinked by charlatans on Twitter, he said he wasn’t sure.
“Deep in my heart I don’t think I was offensive or broke any laws but the outrage was just too much for me,” he said.