As Twitter users across the country woke up on Saturday encountering difficulty in accessing the micro blogging platform, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has urged the Federal Government to reverse the ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria, saying that the platform has created a source of livelihood for thousands of Nigerian youths.
Makinde made this known in a statement on Saturday titled, ‘Statement by Governor Seyi Makinde Regarding the Suspension of Twitter’s Operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government.’
The tug of war between the Federal Government and Twitter started on Tuesday when the micro-blogging site deleted a ‘civil war’ post by President Muhammadu Buhari after the tweet was reported by thousands of Nigerian Twitter users for inciting violence.
This development prompted the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed to announce on Friday the suspension of Twitter, citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The mobile network operators also received a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission to block access to Twitter in the country following the suspension by the government.
Makinde in his statement while pleading with the Federal Government said that “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 the 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 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.
“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.