Twitter Ban: Major Setback for Online Publishing, Press Freedom…GOCOP

Twitter Ban: Major Setback for Online Publishing, Press Freedom…GOCOP

…Says it Will Ruin Many Businesses, Shrink Democratic Space …As NBC Asks Broadcasting Stations to Axe Twitter …El-Rufai, Akeredolu, Adeboye, Kumuyi Defy Ban The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his government’s decision to suspend operations of the microblogging and social networking platform, Twitter in Nigeria. This

…Says it Will Ruin Many Businesses, Shrink Democratic Space

…As NBC Asks Broadcasting Stations to Axe Twitter

…El-Rufai, Akeredolu, Adeboye, Kumuyi Defy Ban

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his government’s decision to suspend operations of the microblogging and social networking platform, Twitter in Nigeria. This is coming amid the directive by the  National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to all broadcast stations in the country to suspend the usage of Twitter with immediate effect

In a statement signed by its President, Mr Dotun Oladipo and General Secretary, Mr Danlami Nmodu, on Monday, GOCOP said the suspension of Twitter is a major setback for online publishing and other businesses which rely on the social media platform for mass circulation and marketing of their businesses.

“We believe this suspension will ruin our businesses and shrink the democratic space.

“Even more, this action will leave many social media handlers who work full time doing legitimate businesses jobless. This will compound the already troubling unemployment situation in the country.

“We believe this action is more injurious to the survival of Nigerian young business entrepreneurs who rely on Twitter.

The organisation also says, government’s move is a major setback for information dissemination, growth of the media, information technology sectors among others in Nigeria.

“We note that there are also millions of Nigerians who use Twitter to ventilate their democratic right of freedom of expression responsibly. The suspension clearly shrinks the democratic space.”

GOCOP advised the President to explore alternative means of relating with Twitter to resolve whatever difference that have arisen.

“Once again, we call on government to lift the order suspending Twitter in Nigeria immediately”, GOCOP said.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed all broadcast stations in Nigeria to suspend the usage of Twitter with immediate effect,

In a statement by its acting Director-General, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, on Monday titled, ‘Suspend Twitter handles’, the NBC said the decision followed the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of the country.

The Commission, therefore, directed the broadcast stations to “de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.”

According to the NBC DG, “Consequent on the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the Federal Government over the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining the corporate existence of Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission directs all Broadcasting Stations in Nigeria to suspend the patronage of Twitter immediately.

“In compliance to the above directive, Broadcasting Stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in.

“Section 2(1) r of the NBC Act entrusts the Commission with responsibility to ensure strict adherence to the national laws, rules and regulations. Also, Section 3.11.2 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that “the broadcaster shall ensure that law enforcement is upheld at all times in a matter depicting that law and order are socially superior to or more desirable than crime and anarchy.”

Idachaba added, “Attention is also drawn to section 5.6.3 of The Code which requires Broadcasters to be mindful of materials that may cause disaffection, incite to panic or rift in the society in the use of a user generated content (UGC).

“Note that it will be unpatriotic for any broadcaster in Nigeria to continue to patronise the suspended Twitter as a source of its information therefore strict compliance is enjoined,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the Governors of Kaduna, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, his Ondo State Counterpart, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, the General Overseer, Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and the General Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi have defied the Federal Government’s Twitter ban

The Governors, who are also members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have made tweets through their verified accounts, defying a warning issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, that violators of the ban will be prosecuted.

El-Rufai, on Sunday, shared an opinion article titled “Based Nigeria: African country teaches US lesson in how to handle Big Tech tyranny”,  authored by Nebojsa Malic, a Serbian-American journalist, which justified the ban on Twitter, nudging the United States to emulate the move made by the Nigerian government.

BASED NIGERIA: AFRICAN COUNTRY TEACHES US LESSON IN HOW TO HANDLE BIG TECH TYRANNY — RT OP-ED HTTPS://T.CO/ZLWICWVSBT

— NASIR AHMAD EL-RUFAI (@ELRUFAI) JUNE 6, 2021

Akeredolu on the other hand, posted a statement reacting to the night attack that claimed several lives in Igangan community in Oyo State on Sunday.

“We, on our part, are resolved to defend our people, their property, and all legitimate means of livelihood against both internal and external aggression. On this, there will be no compromise,” his statement read.

IGANGAN PROVOCATIVE ONSLAUGHT ONE TOO MANY.

…WE HAVE DIRECTED THE COMMANDERS OF THE SOUTH WEST SECURITY NETWORK, AMOTEKUN, TO CONVOKE A JOINT SECURITY MEETING OF ALL COMMANDERS IN THE SOUTH WEST WITH A VIEW TO COMMENCING JOINT OPERATIONS IN THE REGION IMMEDIATELY. PIC.TWITTER.COM/KGV0OY1YIL

— ARAKUNRIN AKEREDOLU (@ROTIMIAKEREDOLU) JUNE 6, 2021

General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has also revealed that his Church will not be complying with the Federal Government’s directive that Nigerians should no longer use Twitter.

In a series of tweets on his personal twitter handle, Adeboye wrote; “The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.”

Nigeria’s Minister for Communication and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed who announced the ban of the microblogging site on Friday also directed the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC to ask all telcos in the country to block access to Twitter.

The directive has been largely criticised with many saying it was an abridgement on the rights to freedom of expression and the curtailment of press freedom.

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.”

— Pastor Adeboye (@PastorEAAdeboye) June 7, 2021

The General Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi, has also violated the goverment’s ban on Twitter.

Giving reasons on Monday, the man of God said his tweets shared on his page are targeted at a global audience in more than 5 continents and over 100 Nations.

Kumuyi, who said the contents are shared from any of these locations, tweeted, “In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than 5 continents and over 100 Nations and we share the content from any of these locations.”

 

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