Governor, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has counseled the Federal Government not to hamper the operations of thousands of businesses and services with its recent suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.
He further said that the suspension was capable of affecting investor confidence in the country.
Governor Makinde, in a statement he signed on Saturday, called for due consideration from the government on the implications of its action, saying that “Twitter has become the platform for young people and indeed all Nigerians to exercise their fundamental right to express and publish an opinion.”
Governor Makinde, who has a strong presence on Twitter, said it became imperative for him to make the statement as the country debates the ban.
He, however, warned that the decision, apart from having grave implications for the image of the country, will hamper thousands of businesses and services, which Nigerian youths promote and influence on the platform.
He said: “It has become imperative for me to release a statement regarding the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government.
“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.”
According to him, “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.”
Makinde further noted that “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 actions 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.”