Governors of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have kicked against the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari administration to indefinitely suspend Twitter in Nigeria.
The governors who registered their displeasure with ban in a communique issued after their meeting in Akwa Ibom on Monday, said the ban was only to satisfy the president’s ego, and will worsen the country’s unemployment crisis.
In the communique read by chairman of the PDP governors forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, the governors maintained that the ban was not in the interest of Nigeria.
“The meeting examined the suspension of Twitter from operating in Nigeria, and condemned the personalised reasons given for the action,” the communique read.
“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 federal government suspended Twitter on June 4, stating that the microblogging platform is being used to threaten Nigeria’s peaceful coexistence.
But many have insisted the decision was in response to the platform’s decision to remove Buhari’s tweet in which he threatened violence against agitators in the country’s Southeast.