Legal Nigeria

Yemi Adamolekun: Twitter ban shows FG’s lack of readiness to solve problems

Yemi Adamolekun: Twitter ban shows FG’s lack of readiness to solve problems

 by Idris Shehu 

Yemi Adamolekun, executive director of Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, says the banning of Twitter by the federal government “is just laziness and shows they are not ready to solve the problems on the table”.

On June 4, the federal government suspended the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.

According to the statement released by Lai Mohammed, minister of information, “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

Speaking on Monday at a press conference to mark the 100th day of the ban, Adamolekun pointed out that by banning the platform, the government did a disservice to Nigerians and its agencies.

She said the government is scared of “Twitter and the amount of information that one gets and how one can engage on it works for certain types of communication”.

The EIE executive director said Nigerians will continue to air their opinions on other platforms “as long as the government chooses not to deal with the fundamental issues that Nigerians have” and that banning those platforms is “laziness” on the part of the authorities and “shows they are not ready to solve the problems on the table”.

“I’m going to speak on two things: how the government banning Twitter is not only a disservice to itself but to also Nigerians. NCDC was one of the agencies that made excellent use of Twitter. During the pandemic and post the lockdown, daily update, weekly update. It used the platform not only to educate Nigerians but to respond to issues and debunk fake news. And in shutting down Twitter, we closed down that channel of communication. And you can see the difference because post-the delta variant, Nigerians are not as engaged as they were. This speaks to the importance of Twitter,” Adamolekun said.

“It’s not the platform in itself; it’s that there are fundamental issues with the structure of governance in Nigeria. Twitter and the amount of information that one gets and how one can engage on it works for certain types of communication. That really is what the government is afraid of.

“Twitter has shown its ability to help mobilize younger Nigerians and give them a voice. And as we go on to the 2023 general election and as long as the federal government chooses not to deal with the fundamental issues that Nigerians have. And as long as there’s a place that Nigerians can exercise their voice — Twitter, radio, Facebook, Instagram — they will find a way to express themselves.

“For the government to constantly hide from dealing with those issues and blame a platform for allowing people to express their opinion is just laziness and shows they are not ready to solve the problems on the table.”

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