On Thursday, the CIVIL Society Organisations, CSOs reacted over the Federal Government’s lifting of the Twitter ban after seven months on Wednesday, while expressing their views on the development.
The Executive Director, Adopt A Goal for Development Initiative, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said:
“There’s nothing cheering on lifting Twitter ban-AGDI. “The ban on Twitter was equally a test of the resilience of Nigerians, especially the youth who saw the federal government’s action as personal to the president, selfish and undemocratic, and so we’re able to navigate the ban with the use of several Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
“The ban was less effective and many Nigerians were able to use Twitter for the entire duration of the embargo, it is in doubt the federal government was able to negotiate from an area of strength.
“That the negotiation dragged for another three months after the President conceded on October 1, 2021, to unban Twitter if certain conditions are met could indicate that the government was unable to negotiate advantageously significantly.
“There is nothing cheering or to celebrate with the lifting of the ban because it was unnecessary, parochial, and self-serving. The federal did not ban Twitter for the national interest but regime protection.
“We do not expect Twitter to concede to undemocratic conditions because there are minimum global standards and thresholds that Twitter cannot fall below in terms of protecting the right of users in civic technology spaces.
“There is nothing if the government can get Twitter through to register, pay taxes and employ a few Nigerians, but using these conditions to negotiate was an afterthought after drawing criticism for ego-banning Twitter to protect the President.
“The ban on Twitter had exposed the regime as intolerant and President Buhari as unrepentant of his dictatorial tendency. We expect some level of monitoring, but it will change nothing because people critical of the Buhari regime are expected to do more as we enter the elections season.
“Nigerians enjoy the freedom of speech and association as enshrined in the constitution, and nothing can take that away, even though no freedom is absolute.”
FG has tarnished Nigeria’s image whether lifting Twitter ban-CN
The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Prince Deji Adeyanju, said Federal Government has tarnished Nigeria’s image in the comity of nations whether lifting the Twitter ban.
Adeyanju said: “The Twitter ban was an anti-democratic act, it has no basis in law because our constitution has made explicit provision, and Nigerians have the right to fully express themselves and receive information.
“So the ban is a contravention of the right of Nigerians to receive, hold and share opinions on social media, especially on mobile app Twitter.
“The only exceptions; the Freedom of Expression it has been for public safety and health, order, morality, and the ban did not fall within those exceptions of their omnibus clause of the constitution because the only reason why Twitter was banned because the ego of the President was affected; he made a hate speech against the Ibos and Twitter rightly deleted his tweet, and how does the ego of the President been bruised amount to the exceptions of the omnibus clause put in the constitution? It does not fall within the exception.
“I believe that we are supposed to be in a constitutional democracy but this is actually a totalitarian regime.
“It is unfortunate whether the conditions set by the Federal Government which are now alleged that Twitter ascended to if it is indeed true that it ascended to censorship of citizens of Nigeria then Twitter has become an enabler of tyranny, and Twitter is now an active tool in suppressing free speech, and this can never augur well with democratic governance in any part of the world.
“Whether lifting of the ban by government portrays Nigerian in a bad light, of course, it does among the comity of nations because when the human right index is going to come it is going to reflect this, and this ban is going to be one of the key indicators and key factors and it is going to affect Nigeria’s standing in the human rights index because citizens cannot freely express themselves and cannot freely speak.
“There should not only be freedom of speech there should be freedom after a speech and this is what the current regime is taking away from Nigerian citizens.