Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has today released a statement calling on the Federal Government to reverse yesterday’s suspension of the social media networking site; Twitter.
The social media microblogging application had earlier this week deleted a controversial tweet from Nigeria’s president; Muhammadu Buhari where he threatened to treat those he accused “of misbehaving today in the language they understand”, referring to the Nigerian Civil war.
Predictably, his statement didn’t go down well, especially with Nigerians from the Southeast/South-south regions that still bear the scars from the horrific events of the Nigerian civil war.
As the tweet also violated Twitter’s rules, it was taken down immediately, leading to the Federal Government’s immediate decision to ban the social media application.
Seyi Makinde, in his statement, advised the Federal Government to turn away from this course of action as an emotional reaction to the issue would only worsen things and affect Nigeria’s image on the international scene.
He stated that using Twitter is an expression of our fundamental human rights and that this ban goes against the constitution. He also added that many Nigerians now earn a living off Twitter and that the ban would affect Nigeria economically and socially.
To round up his speech, he called the Federal Government’s attention to how this move would impact investors in future as this ban would affect investor confidence and reduce the likelihood of foreign investors seeing Nigeria as a viable place for business.
The statement in full: “It has become imperative for me to release a statement regarding the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government.”
“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. This is a fundamental point that should be kept in mind as we debate the necessity of this suspension.”
“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 organizations 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.”
“Furthermore, I believe the Federal Government should be actively interested in how certain policies and action will affect investor confidence. I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to reverse this suspension for the greater good of Nigerians.”
~ Seyi Makinde, June 5, 2021