This a season of emotions, and as usual emotive arguments rule the roost. If you are a keen follower of the Nigerian story, you would have been regaled by all sorts of emotional-laden arguments for and against the recent ban of twitter by the Nigerian government.
It is almost like the rant of a child when its favorite toy is yanked from him.
I refrain from emotional-laden engagements as it is usually almost impossible to through an opinion. You will be harangued mentally, abused and rolled out of the place with a label you really do not deserve.
What are the issues on this matter? The President made an overtly awkward statement. True! The statement could be interpreted here or there. Parts of the statement were tweeted by an overtly forward aide and smack Twitter deleted the statement after a global outcry.
The Nigerian government in response suspended the use of twitter and has gone ahead to criminalize it. This, in my minds eye, was a very stupid thing to do by the Nigerian government.
Twitter has over the years provided a fertile ground for insurgent ideas. Those who seem to have a thing or two against the present configuration of the Nigeria State have been using its reach and effectiveness to play with the minds of the people to a largely very successful point.
Twitter was very effective in the mobilization prior to the very effective #EndSARS riots and also contributed to the about turn of that wonderful episode into the carnage it later turned into.
The government has been very uncomfortable with its influence on the minds of the people, especially the youths. It has been making some irritating sounds about regulating it with expected resistance.
So, with this episode, government felt they now had the opportune time to slam it, and it did.
This is where the government got it all wrong.This is the movement that seems to have pushed us nearer Armageddon that the government seems to be adept at throwing up.
You do not fight a battle of ideas – negative or positive with jackboot tactics. You do not swim against the tide. It is 40 million Nigerians who not only use twitter to vent their frustrations at a heretic system but who majorly use the platform to earn an income, educate themselves and entertain themselves.
In one fell swoop, the government has showed its usual ignorance in handling things of the new age thereby throwing us deeper into the cauldron of fire that has been burning since 2015.
In reaction, twitter then deletes some abusive and damaging tweets by Nnamdi Kanu. A little too late, showing up their bias and their lack of understanding of the issues that befall Nigeria.
Nnamdi Kanu and his co-travelers had found a home on twitter using it to manipulate and influence the very gullible minds of the youths.
Some observers, this writer inclusive, had stopped using twitter for years because it had turned into a cesspool with a dearth in verifiable news and providing an abattoir for the culling of regenerative ideas. It was sheer madness to attempt a logical incursion through the angry corridors of the platform.
This notwithstanding, government’s reaction was nothing but a knee jerk reaction to an irritating boil in its backside. It showed the crass bullying tendency of a government led by people who were not plugged in.
The twitter challenge should be sought for by government and its supporters. At least it would move the battle a little bit away from the killing fields that our country seems to have turned into.
Government should have raised its own army on the platform and engaged in a battle for the mind of the people. But no, they must resort to the dark days of press muzzling reminiscent of Decree four.
This is our problem in this country. Leaders not plugged in, not understanding the true yearnings of the people, thereby not providing locked-in solutions to the aspirations of the multitude.
Author: Joseph Edgar
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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