Sunday, 16 January 2022 13:36

Lifting Twitter ban: If you put too much control in everything, it loses innovation - Segun Awosanya

The Nigerian realtor, human rights activist and business and strategic consultant, Segun Awosanya also known as Segalink opined that if control is exerted in everything; innovation and freedom will be lost.

The human right activist said this in an interview on Saturday on CityTalks with Reuben Abati on City 105.1.

Nigeria's government banned Twitter on June 5, 2021, preventing it from operating in the country. The prohibition came after Twitter removed messages from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and temporarily suspended him after he warned Nigerians in the southeast, primarily Igbos, of a potential repetition of the 1967 Biafran Civil War due to the current insurgency in the region.

The removal of the president's tweets was cited as a factor in the decision, but it was ultimately based on "a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences," citing the platform's continued use for activities that threaten Nigeria's corporate existence.

Amnesty International, the British, Canadian, and Swedish diplomatic missions in Nigeria, as well as the US and the European Union, all criticised the ban in a joint statement. The Nigerian Bar Association and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have both indicated that they intend to challenge the ban in court. The suspension was described by Twitter as "very disturbing."

 Nigeria became the 66th country in the world to restrict social media access in the last six years, a study has found.

The Nigerian government said on Wednesday that the ban on the microblogging site Twitter would be removed at 12 a.m. on Thursday.

Visit to the platform has finally been restored, and Nigerians can now access the site without the use of a virtual private network for the first time in seven months (VPN).

Mr Awosanya stated that what the government has done in the first instance to clamp down a platform where majority of the populace use to express themselves, used to hold government to account and also use for their businesses; is a lose-lose for the government.

He said, “If you look at the cost of shutting down twitter for the period of 7 months or 222 days, it is going to give you about 26.1 billion dollars that’s about 10.72 trillion naira now.

“Compare that with the amount that Nigeria is owing nations?

“And all government can say, is focused more on justifying this base on their lack of control.”

He added, “Clamping down on this had never changed anything.

“Why not government create an enabling regulatory environment that supports global technology initiatives rather than focusing on censorship and control.”





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