Twitter Ban Complicates Government Credibility Crisis

Twitter Ban Complicates Government Credibility Crisis
Twitter Ban Complicates Government Credibility Crisis

Apart from condemnations coming in from Nigerians, organisations and the international community, the ban placed on Twitter may have complicated the crisis of credibility of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. After Twitter said it is a matter of concern that the government decided to censor the people, contrary to the dictates of democracy, foreign missions in Nigeria have also condemned the decision of the federal government on the issue.

In a joint statement by the diplomatic missions of Canada, the European Union, (delegation to Nigeria) the Republic of Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, expressed disappointment over the ban and the proposed registration of all social media in the country.

They stated that “These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.”

The government may have paid little attention to the volume of business that are transacted each day on twitter. This suggests that many people, particularly the youth who use the microblogging as a way of publicising their trade, or even depend on twitter to advertise and run business, will suffer a setback in their businesses. Thus, aside from the method not being expensive for the young entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, they also connect with their customers / clients on twitter. Majority of them have been expressing sadness, because of the sudden loss of the customer base, and of course are afraid that they are being driven back into the labour market.

It is apparent that the government was only concerned by the embarrassment that it suffered as a result of the censor of the president’s twitter account than they are of the growth in the economy of the young population. There are fears already that the ban will affect the informal sector, the private sector, and the start ups. The rage on twitter before the final clampdown, when government gave go-ahead to telecommunications companies to effect the ban, was that scores of businesses would be adversely affected.

Besides that, many people still continued with the use of the platform while scores of others swore they would sidetrack the order. Mr. Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti State, who is one of the critics of the president mostly on twitter, first carpeted the president for not being literate in the use of modern technology, including the new system of telephone. Then, apparently taunting the administration, Fayose also tweeted later to dare Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney general of the federation, who had issued warnings that anyone who flouted the order banning the microblogging platform would be prosecuted.

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