Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has slammed the Federal Government on its handling of the ban placed on the popular microblogging social media platform “Twitter”, saying that the Twitter imbroglio can be handled better, by adding that the FG can sign ‘rules of engagement’ with the San Francisco.
He stated this on Monday while featuring on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ programme monitored by The PUNCH. According to him, “People are losing money but there are also security issues. Let us be circumspect and not throw the baby away with the bathwater.”
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Last week the President Muhammadu Buhari, suspended Twitter operations in Nigeria, citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. The Federal Government’s action followed a deletion of a controversial civil war post by the President.
President Buhari has since come under fire for what many termed as a restriction of the right of expression. The international community including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, amongst others have since knocked President Muhammadu Buhari for the action but the Federal Government has been unyielding in its stance insisting that the sovereignty of the West African nation must be respected by the San Francisco tech giant.
Speaking on the development on Monday, Sanwo-Olu said, though mobile operators have blocked their customers in the country from using Twitter, many Nigerians have switched to the use of Virtual Private Networks to bypass the blockage.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had also ordered the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation to prosecute offenders contravening the government’s Twitter ban.
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Nigeria, with over 200 million people, had about 33 million active social media users as of January 2021. WhatsApp is the most popular platform used in the country, with over 90 million users according to Statista. Also according to Statista, about 61.4 percent of Nigerian social media users use Twitter, 86.2 percent use Facebook, 81.6 percent use YouTube, 73.1 percent use Instagram, and 67.2 percent use Facebook Messenger.