APC To Nigerians: Defend FG’s Suspension Of Twitter

… Challenges Talented Citizens To Develop Alternative, Competitive Social Media Applications

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday, urged Nigerians to develop homegrown applications that can rival existing social media platforms and meet the need of Nigerians.

The APC said Nigerians should seize the opportunity of the suspension of Twitter operations in the country to develop the socia media platforms.

Recall that the federal government had on Friday, suspended twitter operations in the country, following the deleting of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet by the micro-blogging platform.

The implementation of the ban commenced on Saturday with mobile telecoms operators blocking access to Twitter for all their users, based on a government directive.

Many Nigerians have been using Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to bypass the ban, which has been condemned by many Nigerians and civil society organisations. The ban has been described as an attack on freedom of expression by human rights groups and activists including Amnesty International.

A statement issued by APC National Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, also called on Nigerians to defend the country’s sovereignty by suporting the federal government’s Twitter suspension.

According to Akpanudoedehe, Nigeria is a democratic and independent nation and thus defending FG’s suspension of the social media platform is “in our national interest.”

He said Russia has VKontakte (VK), China has Weibo, among several homegrown social media platforms.

He also noted the party, “believes that the country has the potentials and talents that can develop alternative and competitive applications to existing platforms in the world.”

The APC national secretary expressed optimism that Twitter’s suspension will undoubtedly serve as a positive trigger to unleash the creative potentials of Nigerians in the global digital space.

He continued, “This is a challenge to our vibrant youths with such talents. They will get support in the exercise from relevant federal government agencies as well as the numerous Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training and research establishments in the country.

“The recent announcement by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy that Nigeria will soon start the production of smartphones and Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards for the African market is evidence that the country has what it takes to make a deep and strong foray into the global ICT industry.

“The APC had earlier released a statement asking Twitter and other operators of social media pages to use their platforms to check divisive and inciting rhetoric, particularly in Nigeria. We tasked them on the important responsibilities to curb fake news, disinformation, hate speech, among others. Evidently, Twitter failed to do this and even allowed their platform to be used by arsonists, insurrectionists and separatists in the country.

“We are a democratic and independent nation, citizens should defend our sovereignty by suporting the federal government’s Twitter suspension. It is in our national interest.”

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