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He told President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to reverse its decision for the greater good of Nigerians and to boost investor confidence.
In a statement issued on his personal website, Makinde charged the government to often consider how certain policies and actions adversely affected the masses, thus actions should be taken void of emotional reactions.
Makinde was elected as governor under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is one of the remaining state governors in the major opposition party.
Governor David Umahi left the PDP in November 2020 to join the APC. About six months after, his counterpart from Cross Rivers Ben Ayade also decamped to the ruling party. Both are yet to respond to the Twitter ban.
However, in his reaction, Makinde noted that “as leaders, we should go beyond emotional reactions to issues and think about how our actions will affect the people we lead and our international ratings socially and economically. ”
“I believe the Federal Government should be actively interested in how certain policies and action will affect investor confidence. I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to reverse this suspension for the greater good of Nigerians.”
He recognised how the micro-blogging application had remained a source of employment for some Nigerian youths, irrespective of religion or political affiliations.
Makinde stressed that entrepreneurs, who could not afford physical offices and stores also used the platform to showcase their businesses to attract better patronage.
He noted that Twitter had become an avenue for the young people and government agencies to express opinions and share information respectively.
“Twitter has become the platform for young people and indeed all Nigerians to exercise their fundamental right to express and publish an opinion. They use the platform to complain, argue and give feedback to the government and its agencies who in turn, use these to improve policies. This is a fundamental point that should be kept in mind as we debate the necessity of this suspension.
“We should also remember that Twitter has gone beyond a source of communication for many of our hardworking youths in Nigeria. It has become a source of livelihood for many, irrespective of their political affiliations or religious leanings. Nigerian youths and digital communications organisations earn a living from being able to use the platform to post communications on behalf of their clients,” Makinde stressed.
Oyo State governor was not the first to criticise the decision of the Federal Government to ban Twitter. Amnesty International, the Swedish Embassy, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), among others, have also condemned the action. The Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) and some concerned Nigerians have also vowed to take legal action against the president on the Twitter ban.
The Minister of Information Lai Mohammed had issued the notice on the Twitter ban, following the decision of the international IT firm to suspend Buhari over his tweet to caution the Biafra agitators, believed to be behind attacks on state infrastructure.
Telecommunication operators in the country such as MTN, Airtel and Glo have also complied with the new rule to block Twitter access in Nigeria.