Suspension of Twitter major setback for online publishing, IT, others ─GOCOP

*The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers says the Nigerian Government’s move to ban the platform is a major setback for information dissemination, growth of the media, and Information Technology, and other sectors in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In view of the strategic importance of the platform for information dissemination, growth of the media, and Information Technology (IT) sectors of the country’s economy among others, the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind the decision to suspend Twitter operations in Nigeria.

GOCOP made this call in a statement by Mr. Dotun Oladipo, President and Mr. Danlami Nmodu, General Secretary, Monday, June 7.

The statement noted the suspension of Twitter is a major setback for online publishing and other businesses, which rely on the microblogging site and social media platform for mass circulation and marketing of their businesses.

The Guild further noted: “We believe this suspension will ruin our businesses and shrink the democratic space.

“Even more, this action will leave many social media handlers who work full time doing legitimate businesses jobless.”

GOCOP said: “This will compound the already troubling unemployment situation in the country.

“We believe this action is more injurious to the survival of Nigerian young business entrepreneurs who rely on Twitter.”

The government’s move is a major setback for information dissemination, growth of the media, and information technology sectors among others in the country, the statement added.

No constitutional or legal authority for ban of Twitter services: NBA

In a related development, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said that there is neither constitutional nor legal authority that supports the ban of Twitter by the Federal Government.

Olumide Akpata, who said this in a recent statement via his virified Twitter account (@OlumideAkpata) June 4, 2021, said “the @NigBarAssoc has noted with great concern the extraordinary decision of the Federal Govt to suspend the operations of @Twitter in Nigeria, and by necessary implication, the right of Nigerians to freely express their constitutionally guaranteed opinions through that medium.”

The NBA described the government’s decision as illegal and threatened to challenge the decision of the government to suspend the operations of the microblogging site in court.

It is recalled that Twitter had deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari last week, and the action supposedly prompted the government to announce a ban of the operations of the global technology giant in the country.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, earlier in a statement announced the suspension Friday, June 4, 201, in Abuja, FCT.

The Minister cited the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

According to the Association, the ban infringes on the right Nigerians to freely express their constitutionally guaranteed opinions through Twitter.

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