Nigeria’s Twitter ban hits 100 days on Sunday, September 12th, 2021. A milestone leaving the civil society, frontline actors and organizations advocating for digital rights and freedom of expression in disarray with the government’s stringent position.
On Monday, September 13th, Paradigm Initiative (PIN), Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) jointly organized a press conference to dissect the implications and the way forward on the Twitter ban in Nigeria at Civic Hive, Yaba, Lagos.
On the panel to shed light on the trending and unlawful act were ‘Gbenga Sesan, PIN’s Executive Director, ‘Yemi Adamolekun, EiE Nigeria’s Executive Director, and Ayode Longe, MRA’s Program Director.
According to a statement by Valery Njiaba, Communications Officer Paradigm Initiative, Lagos, the Panelists unanimously called on the Federal Government to refrain from actions that put Nigeria among the nations that constantly violate human rights and infringe on its citizens’ fundamental and socio-economic rights guaranteed by their constitution.
‘Gbenga Sesan kicked off the press conference by pointing a finger at the government, stating the ban on Twitter in Nigeria is a misplaced priority, amidst all the critical issues the country is facing, and Twitter is not one of them.
He looked at the economic impact of the ban, saying the ban has impacted revenue projections of many businesses, and that according to netsblock.com Nigeria has lost N148bn In 100 Days.
‘Yemi Adamolekun stressed on the fact that “for the government to constantly shy from pertinent issues such as security, unemployment, and blame a platform for allowing people to express their dissatisfaction is pure laziness and shows they are not ready to solve these issues”, also indicating the Twitter ban is a disservice to both the government and its citizens.
In his opening statement, Ayode Longe MRA’s Program Director gave a rundown of the coalition’s activities against the Twitter ban, Partners’ Actions, and Activities in Response to Suspension of Twitter.
Njiaba noted that, “these are just a few of the actions taken in defense of our right to freedom of expression and access to information as well as the rights of all other Nigerians”.