Nigeria’s major opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of the operations of a US-based social media platform, Twitter, in Nigeria, describing it as a draconian action and a slide towards a fascist regime.
PDP, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that the suspension was unwarranted, describing it as a vexatious, condemnable and barbaric move to muzzle Nigerians, particularly the youth from holding the government accountable.
“Our party is appalled that the Federal Government could exhibit such primitive intolerance and power intoxication because the social media giant demonstrated international best practices in not allowing the Buhari presidency to use Twitter as a platform to propagate and spread the Buhari administration’s hatred towards Nigerians.”
Buhari had earlier, in a statement signed by Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture Segun Adeyemi in Abuja on Friday, announced the suspension of Twitter, saying the platform was persistently used for activities that could undermine the corporate existence of Nigeria.
The PDP stated that as opposed to the president’s claim, Nigerians, particularly the youth, had been using the social media platform largely for activities promoting unity, as well as social, economic and commercial interaction in the country.
The party also added that the Nigerian government failed to cite an example of where Nigerians used Twitter as a platform to promote acts capable of undermining the country’s corporate existence as claimed.
“Of course, the failure to give any such instance, confirms that the Federal Government is only out to victimize Nigerians. The Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration are only afraid of Nigerians on Twitter because of their evil machinations for which they dread the Nigerian youths.”
The party, however, charged President Buhari to rescind his decision to ban Twitter, adding that such move amounted to pushing the citizens to the wall.