The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the federal government’s decision to suspend Twitter as “barbaric and vexatious”.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information, had said the social media platform was undermining Nigeria’s existence, hence the decision to suspend its operations in Nigeria.
Reacting, the opposition party described the development as “primitive intolerance and power intoxication”.
In a statement released on Friday by Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesperson, the PDP said the suspension materialised because the platform deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet.
“The Peoples Democratic Party vehemently rejects the unwarranted suspension of the social media platform, Twitter, by the President
Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, describing it as a draconian action and a slide towards a fascist regime in our country,” the statement reads.
“The party asserts that the suspension of Twitter is a vexatious, condemnable and barbaric move to muzzle Nigerians, particularly the youths, ostensibly to prevent them from holding the overtly corrupt, vindictive and divisive Muhammadu Buhari administration accountable for its atrocities, including human right violations, patronizing of terrorists and outright suppressive acts against innocent Nigerians.
“Our party is appalled that the Federal Government could exhibit such primitive intolerance and power intoxication because the social media giant demonstrated international best practices in not allowing the Muhammadu Buhari presidency to use Twitter as a platform to propagate and spread the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s hatred towards Nigerians.
“The Peoples Democratic Party insists that rather than being a platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, as claimed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Nigerians, particularly the youths, have been using the social media platform, largely, for activities that promote unity, as well as social, economic and commercial interaction in our country.
“Our party notes that Mr. Lai Mohammed, in his statement, failed to cite an example of where Nigerians used Twitter as a platform to promote acts that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as he claimed.
“Of course, the failure to give any such instance, confirms that the Federal Government is only out to victimize Nigerians.”
The PDP said the federal government is “afraid of Nigerians on Twitter because of their evil machinations for which they dread the Nigerian youths”.
The opposition party added that “freedom of speech is firmly guaranteed in our constitution” and that if there is any case of any infringement, “our nation has adequate extant laws to deal with such and not this move to gag the people”.
The PDP called on the president to “end this assault against Nigerians by immediately and unconditionally rescinding its decision”, noting that it amounts to “pushing our citizens to the wall”.
The party noted that the Buhari administration made use of Twitter to campaign during the 2015 and 2019 elections.