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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Twitter Ban: Yiaga Africa, Premium Times, Others, Lambast FG

Accountability Lab Nigeria, YIAGA Africa, Dataphyte, Premium Times and other partner organizations have lambasted Nigeria’s government over the ban of Twitter.

The coalition says the action contravenes the fundamental rights of citizens.

The organizations registered their concern in a press release sent to WikkiTimes.

They insisted that the move not only trample on the right of citizens but serve as a minus on the fainting democracy obtained in the country since the military era.

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“It is regrettable that the Federal Government has chosen to stifle the rights of citizens with this move which stands to retract the minimal gains made around freedom of expression and media independence since the days of military rule in Nigeria.

“As the giant of Africa, Nigeria cannot be seen to be undermining constitutional rights and democracy by muzzling and subduing its citizens”, it read.

The release argued that the consistent disregard for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the rights of citizens has not only become more alarming but poses a question mark on President Buhari’s competency to meet the democratic demand of a highly diversified country as Nigeria.

They further highlighted the many gains of Twitter and other Social media platforms that the Federal Government appear to feign unnoticed.

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“Twitter is one of the platforms that has been beneficial in shaping perceptions such as ensuring the participation of excluded groups and people with disabilities in local decision-making processes and identifying societal issues that are collectively addressed.

“The ban on Twitter came as a shock to young people across the country, especially in light of current strides being made by young citizens in the tech Space,

” On the 15th of October, Paystack, a Nigerian startup out of Lagos was acquired by online processing platform stripe for over $200 million to expand into the African continent,

“Fintech startup, Kuda, raises over $25 million to provide a modern digital banking service for Africans,

” More recently, a digital Nigerian escrow company won a $100 million business grant from Facebook and has put plans in place to provide visibility to small businesses run by digital entrepreneurs across the 36 states of the country”.

The organisation further touched other areas the ban was not favourable when it wrote that,

“It is equally harmful to the entertainment and media industries as many content creators will be unable to reach their audiences; the ban closes the door to open dialogue between Nigerians both locally and in the diaspora,

” Furthermore, it hampers the fundamental rights of Nigerians to free speech, freedom of expression and greatly limits the civic space in the country,

” It halts the ability of citizens to express their views and contribute to the political and social structures in Nigeria”.

They did not fail to lament  that the freedom of the press has been under constant attack in Nigeria with the point that,

“Since 2015 when President Buhari assumed office, over 226 cases of attack on the Nigerian media have been recorded by PTCIJ’s Press Attack Tracker,

“These cases include physical attacks, sanctions, surveillance, closure of radio and TV stations, imprisonments and killings among other forms of oppression.


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