Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has faulted the Federal Government (FG) for suspending Twitter operations in Nigeria.
Falana on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday said that in a constitutional democracy, the government is not permitted to resort to self-help, which implies that rather than place a ban, the government is supposed to have “sued Twitter if the organization refuses to respond positively to the concerns of the government”.
He also said that FG should either have sued Twitter in the United States of America or in Ghana where the microblogging service provider has its African headquarters.
FG said that there has been a litany of problems with Twitter in Nigeria, tagging Twitter as a place where misinformation and fake news spread. However, the ban on Twitter was placed after President Buhari’s tweet referencing the civil war was deleted.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that a sensitive post by President Buhari shared on his official page on Facebook, has been taken down by the platform.
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In his opinion, Falana said there is no ground on which the action of the government can be justified. The rights activist said 40 million Twitter subscribers in Nigeria cannot be disenfranchised over one person’s ego.
World great powers have expressed disappointment over the indefinite suspension of the social media platform, Twitter, by President Buhari’s administration.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that in a joint statement the governments of Canada, the European Union, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America said every Nigerian has the right to freedom of expression and access to information.
Former US President Donald Trump sent a congratulatory message to Nigeria over the Federal Government’s recent decision to suspend the operations of Twitter in the country.
Lifting the ban
FG gave its condition for lifting the indefinite suspension it imposed on Twitter in the country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated at a meeting with some envoys. He said that the ban on Twitter’s operations in Nigeria will be lifted only if the microblogging platform can be used “responsibly.”