- Distinguished readers, let me specially welcome the privileged ones that are able to read me today. As you are aware, there is a rumour, as I would want to treat it, that the Federal Government has suspended the operation of Twitter in Nigeria.
I am yet to come to terms with that reality, probably because I have since eloped the country for some weeks. Assuming however that the story is true, I have continuously been struggling with the reasons given for the suspension.
Amongst other reasons is the deletion of the tweet of Mr President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the use of the medium for the purported destabilisation of the country.
In the first instance, Tweeter does not deal with status of patrons but the messages. It has its rules just like all other platforms have. Any violation earns different sanctions.
The least is deletion which is meted out to one Muhammadu Buhari as known to Twitter. That event, in my view, does not warrant the type of reaction from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
I say this because the options open to the government are many and amongst it are ignoring the deletion, ceasing to patronise Twitter account again as rightly done by Mrs Buhari subsequently.
The said aggrieved person can also set up his own medium or choose to patronise several other alternatives. To now prevent several other users of the communication medium is, in my view, unconstitutional.
There is still freedom of expression in the country’s Constitution and it is not all users that are guilty of any form of incitement.
Again, why would anyone want to keep his citizens in darkness as to global contemporary occurrences? Undoubtedly, Twitter is the most potent platform in this regard.
Again, why would the leaders want to continue to degrade the reputation of the country? Reactions to this development, globally, have not painted the nation in any good light. By now, I think the government must beat a tactical withdrawal.
The worst aspect is that of prosecution. I have been wondering how? Which law prohibits the use of Twitter in the country? What is the penalty?
The futility of the entire scheme is now reflected in the bye pass in accessing Twitter accounts. The VPN has made nonsense of the entire suspension as Nigerians have migrated to the other level of accessibility.
Why do the rulers do things that are of no moment or consequence? A similar thing occurred on cryptocurrency issue. The purported regulation only succeeded in hyping the dealings in the currency.
The same effect the suspension will now have as more people are now opening Twitter accounts. Why do our governments continue to embark on programs or pass policies that are sterile and will be more honoured in exacerbation than observance.
I think our leaders need to rise above pettiness and concentrate on more serious issues. Upcoming leaders have a lot to learn from the wrong approaches of the present rulers.
Deleting one posting of the President out of thousands the man had posted on Twitter should not lead to a hasty reaction as done in this instance.
It only portrays the President as intolerant of criticism. There is a better approach than the one adopted.