Home EDITORIAL PMB’s threat and Twitter face-off

PMB’s threat and Twitter face-off

by News Echo
3 minutes read

There is no argument that this may not be the best of time for President Muhammadu Buhari drawing from the enormity of challenges hanging on his shoulders as the number one citizen of the world’s most populous black nation. From every aspect of our country’s national life Buhari appears embattled.

Like any human being in his shoes, the president can cave in under severe pressure to make some wrong statements or take some wrong steps which may come across as embarrassing both to his office or his person. This is one of the ways some minds have viewed the recent statements credited to the president concerning some threatening messages to agitating groups alleged to be angling for secession.

The comment has attracted wide spread condemnation locally and internationally leading to one of the prominent global social media group, Twitter, pulling down the message as sanction because it considered it as promoting hatred, ill will and violence. It was also reported that PMB’s statement violated the community standard of Twitter, thus the action.

As if that was not enough, another social media, Face book, it was also reported deleted same message from its portal. This further reinforces the action of Twitter who appear to have attracted more sympathy from the public and international community. The United States, Governor Makinde as well as other prominent Nigerians have promptly condemned the action of the FGN.

Buhari’s speech in the first place has attracted some controversies over who is the actual author. While many argue that the president did not pen down the message because the language has no resemblance of his according to them, others held that the comment was created by one of his aides. Irrespective of source, fact is that some feathers have been ruffled in the process.

The Federal Government in reaction has equally banned the operation of Twitter in Nigeria. The government further went ahead to threaten punishment for those who may violate its order. The government hinged its decision on the fact that Twitter’s action is anti-government citing that it has not banned the tweets of secession agitators liike Nnamdi Kanu.

The decision to ban it has been identified is a violation of the people’s right to access information and the implication of this is far reaching especially when Nigeria has been fingered to have signed an agreement with other countries to promote the use of social media. A digital group has described the ban as a brazen affront on citizen’s fundamental human rights.

The resolution on “the promotion, protection, and enjoyment of human rights on the internet” was adopted by consensus at the 38th session of the HRC in Geneva.

News Echo regrets the hasty manner the authorities handled this matter which has brought an embarrassment to the people and government of Nigeria. It further reinforces the charge of high handedness and use of coercion preferred against the president. We condemn any act designed to tamper with the rights of the citizen’s no matter how emotional the government may feel about the issue.

We request that the federal government should review the matter without delay and restore the status quo. Going forward the government should properly review each matter on its merit before launching into any reprisal action.

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