Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, has asked the federal government to reverse the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.
Mr Makinde, in a statement Saturday, said that the federal government’s action was an ’emotional reaction’ and not well thought out.
As leaders, the governor said, “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 the government and its agencies who in turn, use these to improve policies,” he added
This, he said, 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 organisations earn a living from being able to use the platform to post communications on behalf of their clients,” the governor added.
“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 actions 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,” Mr Makinde said.
The Nigeria government on Friday announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations, saying its activities are “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The decision came barely 48 hours after Twitter deleted a controversial post by President Muhammadu Buhari referencing the country’s civil war, and threatening those who attack government buildings “with the language they understand.”
“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Mr Buhari warned in the tweet that was taken down.
After condemning the deletion of the post by Twitter, the government on Friday then announced the suspension of the social media platform in Nigeria.
By Saturday morning, the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an industry group, confirmed it had received a directive from the government to suspend access to Twitter across the country. ALTON said its members have implemented the directive.
Many Nigerians and since condemned the government’s action.
Twitter said in a statement on Friday that it was investigating the “deeply concerning” suspension of operations, and would “provide updates when we know more.”
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