THE Civil Society Consortium on Civic Space has condemned the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the operations of social media giant, Twitter, in the country.
In a statement released on Saturday, the group described the act as lacking intellectualism, saying that it was an attempt by the Nigerian government to destroy the nation’s democracy.
“It is shameful that in its desperate bid and determination to destroy the largest democracy in Africa, the Federal Government of Nigeria is exploring undemocratic means to not just gag its citizens but to subdue them,” it read.
The statement described criticism as the bedrock of modern democracy and stressed the impropriety of a democratically-elected leader to display such lack of temperament for dissenting voices.
“He should either resign or let the citizens know that he has staged a coup against his own democratically elected government by announcing himself as a military junta, that way we can deal with the administration as such,” it read.
The group also described the Twitter ban as an attack on the rights of free speech and a hindrance to businesses in an already battered economy.
“We therefore call on General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to immediately reverse the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. In the interim, the Consortium is considering its options in response to the decision and consulting with other interested civic partners and entities in Nigeria in order to determine our next steps,” it read.
The Nigerian government announced the Twitter ban on Friday after a tweet by Nigeria’s president Mohammadu Buhari was deleted from the platform for breaching its rules.
Buhari had referred to the Nigerian Civil War and threatened to treat certain members of the society in ‘the language they would understand.’
Nigeria’s Minister for Information and Culture Lai Mohammed had stated in a press release that the ban was a result of “the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”