Fatahu Muhammad, the member representing Daura Federal Constituency of Katsina State in the House of Representatives, has defended the suspension of Twitter from operating in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari hails from the constituency.
The federal government, on June 4, suspended the microblogging site from operating in the country.
The action attracted criticisms from groups and individuals at home and abroad, who felt it was an attack on freedom of expression.
On Tuesday, the government announced that it has set up a committee headed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to negotiate with Twitter.
Mr Muhammad, who is reportedly a cousin to Mr Buhari, hailed the ban, arguing that Twitter was not food that Nigerians required.
The lawmaker spoke on Tuesday during the investigative hearing organised by the House joint committees on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values alongside the National Security, Justice and Commerce, on the controversial Twitter ban.
Are we eating Twitter?
The lawmaker, who is a member of the joint committee, said Nigeria should come first.
“For God sake, what is social media? Are we eating social media? Let us go back to the resources, and harvest them, and let keep this thing aside, and face the real problem in Nigeria.
“My colleagues have spoken the mind of their constituents. If I would speak the mind of my constituents, I would include the president, because out of 360 of us, I am the only one voted by the president. Look, Nigeria first, let us be honest to ourselves, let us call a spade a spade,” he said.
While calling for the regulation of media, Mr Muhammad said the ban of Twitter, in response to the pulling down of Mr Buhari’s tweet, saved the government from embarrassment.
“We should please regulate the media.
“If the minister did not ban Twitter on the instruction of the President, the kind of insults to the sovereignty of Nigeria from the users of Twitter would be more than what we are facing. Let’s tell ourselves the truth, Nigeria first. Sometimes, when I am reading tweets, I am disappointed with the youths (because) we are the future of Nigeria,” he said.
The House had on June 8 resolved to investigate the ban of the microblogging site by the government.
The Chairman of the joint committees, Segun Odebunmi (APC, Oyo), said it will soon present its report to the House.
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