What else could be a deprivation of expression of the minds and thoughts, if the masses are stopped from expressing themselves on a certain platform in a nation that practices “freedom of expression,” are the thoughts of Nigerians held in high esteem or the government has just concealed those thoughts? This and many more questions lies in many minds over the recent suspension of Twitter in the country by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Federal Government had on Friday suspended indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
This was communicated in a statement issued by the office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
According to him, the platform has been used persistently for activities that are “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
Since the trend and before its ban, various reactions have trailed the development with calls to FG to reverse the suspension.
On his part, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has reacted to the Federal Government government decision, urging it to reverse its suspension of the microblogging site, Twitter, adding that many Nigerian youths use the platform as a means of livelihood.
Makinde who communicated this in a statement on Saturday said Twitter is far beyond just a communication platform but an application used by many brands to make their products and services visible.
“We should also remember that Twitter has gone beyond a source of communication for many of our hardworking youths in Nigeria. It has become a source of livelihood for many, irrespective of their political affiliations or religious leanings. Nigerian youths and digital communications organisations earn a living from being able to use the platform to post communications on behalf of their clients.
“Others who may not have physical stores also rely on Twitter to give visibility to their products and services,” he said.
“As leaders, we should go beyond emotional reactions to issues and think about how our actions will affect the people we lead and our international ratings socially and economically.
“Twitter has become the platform for young people and indeed all Nigerians to exercise their fundamental right to express and publish an opinion. They use the platform to complain, argue and give feedback to government and its agencies who in turn, use these to improve policies.”
The governor noted further these points should be behind the mind as the issues of debating on the necessity of the suspension is ongoing.
Makinde beckoned on the Federal Government to show an active interest in how certain their policies and actions affect investor confidence.
Admits other calls, Amnesty International, a human rights group have asked the Federal Government to reverse its decision to suspend the operations of the social media platform, Twitter, in Nigeria.
They also called on the Federal Government to suspend plans to gag the media.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in the country.