Desmond Elliot, the actor-turned-politician, says there is no justification for the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria by the federal government.
The government had on Friday announced the indefinite suspension of the social media service because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The sanction of the microblogging platform has continued to spark widespread outrage, with many Nigerians, including celebrities, condemning the move.
In a Twitter thread on Saturday, the lawmaker representing Surulere at the Lagos state house of assembly called on the federal government to reverse the suspension.
Elliot said regardless of the government’s reason for the suspension, the directive “tramples upon our fundamental rights as people.”
According to him, the country must examine the social and economic implication of the suspension on its populace, majority of which depend on the platform for promoting their businesses.
“I want to admonish our government to always remember that the people’s right to express themselves freely must not be compromised. This ban, no matter the reasons proffered tramples upon our fundamental rights as people,” he wrote.
I want to admonish our government to always remember that the people’s right to express themselves freely must not be compromised. This ban, no matter the reasons proffered tramples upon our fundamental rights as people.
— Desmond Elliot (@DesmondOElliot) June 5, 2021
“In a democratic society like ours, we must weigh the economic and social impact of this ban on the populace — especially our teeming youths and entrepreneurs who depend solely on this platform to carry out their legitimate business.”
He said the federal government must strive to sustain its reputation for standing “on the side of the people even when it’s not convenient” by reversing the suspension.
“In the past, our government have shown the required goodwill to stand on side of the people even when it’s not too convenient for them to do so. I believe that this won’t be an exception,” he added.
“I want to appeal to the government to reconsider this ban in the interest of our people and our country at large.”
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