LAGOS – The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council has described the suspension of the micro blogging and social networking service, Twitter- as undemocratic.
In a statement issued by the Council Chairman and Secretary, Adeleye Ajayi and Tunde Olalere respectively said, “The Council noted that for democracy to be sustained, it must be backed up with freedom of expression and a viable media”.
“Section 39 of the amended 1999 Constitution states that every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression including the freedom to hold opinions and receive and impart ideas and information.
“The suspension did not fulfil Nigeria’s international obligations under African Charter on human and people’s rights”, the statement said.
The NUJ Lagos Council was, therefore, baffled that the Federal Government could carry out the suspension without having a second thought of the grave implications of the anti-democratic action.
“It is advisable that the Federal Government should rescind its decision by considering the huge number of jobs sustained by Twitter in the country.
“Twitter serves as a medium of free expression of opinions and ideas and also gives a strong voice to both the youth and the masses.
“The suspension would also erode enormous revenue from the financial circle as many people depend on the social media (Twitter) for their livelihood.
“Other amicable options should be explored by the Federal Government to resolve the misunderstanding with the management of the social media.
The Federal Government suspended Twitter activities two days after the social media giant removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish intending regional secessionists.
Twitter consequently deleted President Buhari’s tweet for violating its rules.
Similarly, the International Press
Institute ( IPI) expresses concern over the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government.
Also in a statement by IPI Chairman, Kabiru Yusuf and the Secretary, Raheem Adedoyin respectively, “The action is detrimental to the free press in Nigeria which uses twitter as a major platform”.
It reads: “IPI notes the concern of the government on the use of twitter and other social media platforms to promote hate speech and disinformation. We urge twitter and other social media outfits to pay greater attention to the content they promote on their platforms which violate their own rules”.
“IPI implores the Government to reverse the suspension of twitter operations in nigeria and engage in meaningful dialogue with the social media outfit on issues of concern to the government”, it added.