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STAKEHOLDERS at the Radio Town Hall Meeting on Whistleblowing and Whistleblower Protection have called for the restoration of Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The stakeholders said the ban was undermining the whistleblowing policy and the fight against corruption in the country.
The town hall meeting was organised by African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) in collaboration with the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development (PRIMORG) in Abuja on Wednesday.
In a statement released by PRIMORG, Director of Programs at YIAGA Africa Cynthia Mbamalu noted that the ban on Twitter was breeding distrust and would negatively affect whistle-blowing in Nigeria.
Mbamalu stated that the ban was misplaced, noting that the benefits associated with the platform were not properly considered by the government.
“Twitter was one platform where people were revealing and reporting incidents, it was one platform where people beyond the young entrepreneurs who conduct businesses earn a living. There were critical reports of violation, corruption and demands for accountability, and they were all done on the Twitter platform,” she said
The Community Engagement Officer at Connected Development (CODE) Mukhtar Modibbo also condemned the ban and urged the government to be more responsible and accountable to the citizens.
The Team Lead of Tap Initiative Martin Obono urged the government to examine the role of the social media in the fight against corruption.
“There are a plethora of areas to use social media to fight corruption but in the absence of whistleblowing law, the creation of an App to expose corruption and protection of whistleblower’s identity is needed,” he said.
Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disability Musa Mu’azu Musa also urged the government to reverse the Twitter ban immediately.
“I am advising the government, apart from the economic benefits there are social rights around it, we owe it to our government to get feedback on their policies and the only way we can give them that feedback is through those platforms (Twitter). So we want them to lift the Twitter ban and also encourage people to speak using the platform,” he said.
The statement noted that the Town Hall meeting series would run for eight weeks initially, then alternate weekly between Ray Power 100.5 FM Abuja and Kiss 99.9 FM Abuja.
“It is a collaborative effort between AFRICMIL and PRIMORG aimed at increasing citizens’ active participation and involvement and encouraging the government to institutionalise the whistleblowing policy,” the statement added.