The Nigerian government on Friday indefinitely suspended Twitter activities in the country. This comes two days after the microblogging platform deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s account that threatened to punish Indigenous People of Biafra in the Southeast region.
In its response, Twitter, in a statement said it is “investigating the ‘deeply concerning’ suspension of its operations by the Nigerian government, and will provide updates when we know more”.
Many Nigerians and rights groups objected to the ban. It is against this background that Information Nigeria calls for the reversal of the ban on Twitter.
Information Nigeria notes that the suspension of Twitter didn’t happen merely because President Buhari’s tweet was deleted, the federal government in fact suspended the Bird app in its aim to gag freedom of speech and expression in the country. The deletion of Buhari’s ‘civil war’ tweet offered the opportunity to actualise this undemocratic policy.
Recall that the Buhari-led government, who rode into power via numerous social media campaigns, especially on Twitter —had since its assumption of power in 2015— tried to gag Nigerians freedom of expression by regulating social media bill and attempting to jail social media users who write offensive posts. Donald Trump, former United States President had his Twitter account permanently suspended due to policy violations, this is in spite that Twitter headquarters is sited in New York. Trump did not call for ban on Twitter in the country. Twitter definitely knew what it was doing when it ignored Nigeria to site its headquarters in Ghana.
Twitter leaving the country will not solve insurgency and terrorism in the country. Twitter has never been a problem. Buhari has failed in his duties and responsibilities as the President of Nigeria. The government is handling bandits in the North with kids glove but is ever ready to treat secessionists in the southeast ‘in the language they understand. It is clear that Buhari himself is the cause of divisions among Nigerians.
With the ban of Twitter, Buhari has added Nigerians to the long list of undemocratic countries across the globe. This is not a good ranking for Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole. We implore Buhari to rescind his shameful decision by unbanning Twitter. He should focus and divert his energy by providing lasting solutions to more pressing national issues.