Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has called on the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the ban on Twitter, advising him not to let his emotions becloud his reasoning.
Mr Makinde made the call in a Saturday statement posted on his Twitter handle. He is obviously using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the social networking site.
The federal government through the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, had ordered telecommunication service providers to block the U.S-based social network from being accessible after accusing it of double standard by deleting a tweet of the president deemed genocidal.
But in his reaction, the Oyo helmsman said the ban should be lifted because the platform is being used in expressing fundamental right and opinions.
“It has become imperative for me to release a statement regarding the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government,” Mr 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,” he added.