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Twitter ban: Nigeria sliding into dictatorship – Governors

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors Forum have reacted to Twitter ban by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the action was a gradual slide into dictatorship.

They hoped, government would realise and revert in the interest of the nation.

Chairman of PDP governors forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal read a communique after a one meeting of the leaders in Uyo capital of Akwa Ibom State on Monday.

Governor wondered the ban because an individual’s inflammatory post which was not in line with the policy of the microblogging site was deleted without considering g tje consequences on generality of the people.

Part of the communique read:
:The meeting examined the suspension of Twitter from operating in Nigeria and condemned the personalised reasons given for the action.

“The mere ego of Mr President is not enough for such a drastic action that deprives millions of Nigerians of such an affordable means of expression and communication.

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“We hope that this is not a harbinger or early warning signs of descent into dictatorship.

“The meeting noted that social media regulation can only be done within the existing laws on the subject and should not be used as an attempt to punish or gag Nigerians from enjoying constitutionally guaranteed rights.”

They reminded President Buhari that the ban has further thrown many youths into the Labour Market amid Nigeria having the highest rate of unemployment in the world.

“Nigerian youths do not have adequate access to employment and a lot of Nigerians rely on Twitter for their livelihood, businesses, and self-employment.

“This will further worsen Nigeria’s 33% unemployment rate which is the highest in the world, improve Nigeria’s ranking as the country with second-highest poverty rate in the entire world, all of which happened under APC’s unfortunate stewardship.

“The meeting consequently requested Mr President to review the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria in the national interest.

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“The meeting further called on the APC-led Federal government to think outside the box and find solutions to the challenges facing electricity supply in Nigeria as the current system is certainly not delivering the power needed for Nigeria’s rapid industrialisation.

“On the recurring question of insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria, the PDP Governors reiterated the need to decentralise the operations of the security apparatus of state even within the existing legal framework, to ensure the input of local operators in State and Local Governments in policing and security.

“It lamented the fact that Mr President seems not to be aware that the coercive instruments of State security are firmly within his hands and not the Governors, considering his recent media interview on the subject. The meeting reminded Mr. President that he has ultimate authority under the Constitution over security organisations, even though the States have a role to play.

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“Cooperation and synergy between States and the Federal Government in security operations are critical in securing Nigeria.

“In any case, even though, Police are on the Exclusive List, the States, as a practical matter spend huge sums of money to support the security agencies to carry out their duties.

“The need for an appropriate legal framework to involve the States in policing has become even more urgent by the day.

“To this end, we reiterate our call for the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the Electoral Act and Constitution amendments to ensure restructuring and decentralisation of governmental powers and functions.

“The meeting extolled the virtues and achievements of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, our Chief Host.”

They noted that he has brought prudence, innovation, and competence in the management of state resources, with major landmark projects and interventions, and thanked him for being a wonderful host.”

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