The Guild of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria (GPBN) has described the Government’s ban of social media, Twitter as a defeat of true democracy in Nigeria.
The Guild in a Press Statement signed by its President and General Secretary, Chris Nwandu and Femi Adeoya, expressed disapproval over the ban .
They said, the outcry that has trailed the ban showed how much the action has affected Nigerians.
According to the statement, “The Bloggers Guild views with dismay “government unpopular action that defeats the purpose of true democracy and freedom of speech which Nigeria preaches among the comity of nations”.
The Group further noted, “As Professional Bloggers, we see Twitter as a veritable Platform that has engaged lots of young Nigerians in the private sector and contributed to reducing the economic burden of our youths amidst increasing unemployment in the land” the Guild pointed out.
The Group added: “By the action, the army of young, enterprising, and dynamic Nigerians who have been promoting their entrepreneurial skills through the Platform are now being shut out by the government which sworn to promote youths development”.
“We think the ban of Twitter as a means of communication in Nigeria at any time, will further expose millions of Nigerians particularly the youths, to more economic hardship.
“This is because the small, medium and large-scale businesses derive advertising sales and income from promotions using Twitter” the Guild stated.
According to the Bloggers, “In a country where the unemployment rate keeps rising daily, young Nigerian Graduates for instance through their industrious spirit have mostly stopped searching for paid employment or expect social benefits from the government.
They noted that through social media platforms like Twitter, Nigerian Youths have been able to create jobs and are making progress with their lives without government support.
Said, Nwandu, “Banning Twitter equally exposes Nigerians to higher security risks at a time the use of Twitter as a social tool has been helping to expose crimes and criminals.
“At a time heinous crimes like banditry, kidnapping, cultism, ritual killings, and robbery have become daily occurrences, Twitter and other social media platforms have been used to track criminal activities and assisted security agents to follow tracks when useful information are given by the public” the Bloggers stated..
Recalling the recent tracking of a suspected ritualist, Uduak Frank Akpan in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State whose criminal activities were exposed following numerous Tweets that led to his arrest after he reportedly killed a job seeker, Iniobong Umoren.
“If a Platform Twitter wasn’t available at that time, getting a swift action would have taken much longer,” said Nwandu.
GPBN also pointed out that it is through Twitter, that government agencies like EFCC, the Police unit, and others security apparatus have also been able to track criminals and brought them to book.
“The benefits of this social means of communication are therefore too numerous to recount>, said GPBN.
“The huge outcry that has followed the ban shows the immeasurable benefits the teeming Nigerian population derives from using social media and how it would be callous, evil, and disdainful to allow this suspension to continue”the Guild warned..
They also warned that the continued ban of Twitter would not only utterly affect the legitimate source of living for many, but it would also hinder communication even for the government ministries, departments, and agencies.
“Most government MDAs have employed social media influencers who communicate the activities of government and get all-time feedback using Twitter.
“The NCDC for instance has been able to reach millions of Nigerians with all-time fast messages on the COVID-19 pandemic using Twitter” said the Guild.