“The mere ego of Mr. President is not enough for such a drastic action,” PDP governors say. Governors elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) have described the indefinite suspension of Twitter in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, as undemocratic and a stifling of free speech.
In a communique issued after their meeting in Akwa Ibom on Monday, June 14, 2021, the governors say the Twitter ban will worsen Nigeria’s unemployment crisis.
Twitter was suspended in Nigeria on June 4, 2021, with the federal government saying the activities of the tech company are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The ban was announced after Twitter took down one of the president’s tweets that invoked the 1967 civil war.
The war over the secessionist Biafra Republic led to the deaths of millions of people in the Igbo-speaking southeastern region of Nigeria.
The PDP governors have asked the president to review the ban “in the national interest.”
“The meeting examined the suspension of Twitter from operating in Nigeria, and condemned the personalized reasons given for the action,” the communique issued after the meeting, reads.
The governors say punishing a company and the people because the president’s ego has been bruised, is the stuff that dictatorships are made of.
“The mere ego of Mr. President is not enough for such a drastic action that deprives millions of Nigerians of such an affordable means of expression and communication.
“We hope that this is not a harbinger or early warning signs of descent into dictatorship.
“The meeting noted that social media regulation can only be done within the existing laws on the subject and should not be used as an attempt to punish or gag Nigerians from enjoying constitutionally guaranteed rights.
“Nigerian youths do not have adequate access to employment and a lot of Nigerians rely on Twitter for their livelihood, businesses and self-employment.
“This will further worsen Nigeria’s 33% unemployment rate which is the highest in the world, improve Nigerians ranking as the country with the second-highest poverty rate in the entire world, all of which happened under APC’s unfortunate stewardship,” the communique adds.