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NPAN, Editors’ Guild to FG: Reconsider Twitter suspension

The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have urged the Federal Government to tread with caution and Nigerian Guild of Editors ngeimmediately reconsider the suspension of the operation of Twitter in Nigeria by seeking other legitimate means of resolving its dispute with the company.

 

In separate statements issued yesterday by both media associations, they stated that the government’s action may adversely affect the image of the country.

 

The NGE, in a statement signed by Mustapha Isah (President) and Iyobosa Uwugiaren (General Secretary) respectively, said that the Federal Government’s action has the unintended consequence of jeopardising the economic interests of many Nigerians, who rely on the social media platform for vital information to make informed business decisions daily.

 

Similarly, NPAN in a statement signed by its President, Alhaji Kabiru A. Yusuf, said the suspension of Twitter’s operation by the Nigerian government was wrong and an overreaction.

 

NPAN said: “The action would not win us friends as closure of public space limits public discourse and democratic advancement. It is a futile exercise in any case, as other platforms are more likely to suspect Nigeria’s intentions towards democratic tenets and act adversarially towards Nigeria.

 

“Twitter is a global platform for public communication that has expanded the frontiers of Free Speech and Press Freedom. It is a platform for business that has brought relief to Nigeria’s youthful population who have prospered by its operation.”

 

However, the media proprietors said Twitter as a business was not infallible and can be influenced through high level engagement, to be a more responsive, liberal platform of public good and not a cynical champion of suspicious causes.

 

On its part, the NGE, while advising the Federal Government to desist from any action that would project the Nigerian government as a dictatorship, said that the action was an infringement on Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution and violated the right of Nigerians to interact freely on this platform.

 

The statement read: “In addition, the suspension is a grave breach of Nigeria’s international obligations under Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

 

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