Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria, HURIWA, has admonished the federal government to stop the arrogance of power and the “display of ideology of dictatorial might is right” and allow Nigerian users the Twitter platform to continue to enjoy their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression and association.
In a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA told President Muhammadu Buhari that it makes no sense that he has become the most widely traveled President during which time he has tried to market Nigeria as a modern day democracy seeking for credible foreign direct investments to boost our domestic economy but only for the same globetrotting Head of State of Nigeria to unilaterally order the shutdown of an economically empowering social media network like twitter on the nebulous ground that it threatens the National interest of Nigeria.
The Rights group said rather than threaten Nigeria’s national interest, Twitter has mainly provided fertile ground for young Nigerians to seek genuine ways of becoming self employed through the use of technology.
Lamenting that the ban imposed on the use of Twitter is extremely damaging to the global brand of Nigeria and portraying the country like an entity that is unstable and suffers from tyranny of ignorance, HURIWA has urged President Buhari to hearken to the appeals of millions of Nigerians and do the needful since the voice of the people is the voice of God.
HURIWA told the President that he is the President today because of the overwhelming support he got from mostly young Nigerians who got to read about his manifestos and developmental blueprints via the many viable social media channels.
The rights group wondered why Mr. President, who benefited immensely from Twitter, is the same person shutting the door of opportunities to millions of Nigerian Youngsters who stood in the rain and sunshine to vote for him.
“We regret to state that the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to unilaterally order millions of Nigerians making use of the Service offered by twitter to stop, has inflicted unprecedented damage to Nigeria’s International brand as the largest black Constitutional democracy in the World.
“The arbitrary policy of banning Nigerians from enjoying their fundamental freedoms of association and expression has not only painted Nigeria as an emerging dictatorship but as a political entity that is going back to the primitive state of nature.”
HURIWA also faulted the position of the minister of foreign affairs that the ban imposed on twitter was in the National interest.
The rights organisation wondered if the use of twitter is offensive to Nigeria’s national interest, why then do the Federal government officials beginning from the President, the media Advisors of the President and top level cabinet officers maintain accounts with Twitter.
“We think that the decision is ill- advised and totally repugnant to good reason.
“Rather than undermining Nigeria’s national or security interests, the social network of Twitter has substantially helped to create the platform for millions of Nigerians to air their opinions and to suggest viable and practicable solutions to our national malaise.
“The social media platform of Twitter is also a global market place which has provided an abundant avenue for legitimate generation of revenues and economic benefits for millions of Nigerian Youngsters who were hitherto unemployed.”
“In terms of crime, the security forces of Nigeria do also harvest a monumental volume of actionable intelligence from twitter which they deploy in preventing or combating crimes of various types. Twitter is a minefield of information and intelligence which if properly and professionally collected and interpreted can go a long way in bringing about a better society in Nigeria. The gains of twitter are far greater than the pains, if any”.
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