Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor, has urged the Federal Government to reverse its suspension of microblogging site, Twitter, noting that the platform has become a money-making one for Nigerian youths who eke a living through content creating and sharing on the platform.
He made this known in a statement on Saturday titled, ‘Statement by Governor Seyi Makinde Regarding the Suspension of Twitter’s Operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government’.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Twitter deleted a ‘civil war’ post by the Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday.
Consequently, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension of Tuesday today, citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
Mobile network operators also said they received a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission to block access to Twitter in the country following the suspension by the government.
Reacting in a statement, Makinde said, “As leaders, we should go beyond emotional reactions to issues and think about how our actions will affect the people we lead and our international ratings socially and economically.
“Twitter has become the platform for young people and indeed all Nigerians to exercise their fundamental right to express and publish an opinion. They use the platform to complain, argue and give feedback to government and its agencies who in turn, use these to improve policies.
“This is a fundamental point that should be kept in mind as we debate the necessity of this suspension.
“We should also remember that Twitter has gone beyond a source of communication for many of our hardworking youths in Nigeria. It has become a source of livelihood for many, irrespective of their political affiliations or religious leanings.
“Nigerian youths and digital communications organisations earn a living from being able to use the platform to post communications on behalf of their clients. Others who may not have physical stores also rely on Twitter to give visibility to their products and services.
“Furthermore, I believe the Federal Government should be actively interested in how certain policies and action will affect investor confidence.
“I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to reverse this suspension for the greater good of Nigerians.”
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the National Bureau of Statistics said Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 33.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, adding that over 23.19 million people are unemployed in the country.
Nigeria, with over 200 million people, has a vibrant youth population mostly between the ages of 18 and 35 but sadly, the nation has not made judicious use of its human resource gift to develop its industries and economic wealth.