Twitter Ban: Rise Above Pettiness, Banire Tells FG


Chairman of AMCON board, Dr. Muiz Banire

A former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Muiz Banire (SAN), says the suspension of Twitter by the Federal Government just days after deleting the President’s tweets, portrays the President, Muhammadu Buhari, as an intolerant leader.

He subsequently asked the Federal Government to rise above pettiness and focus on more pressing issues.

Banire said this in a series of tweets on Sunday, adding that the suspension of the social media platform was futile since Nigerians were still tweeting with the use of Virtual Private Network.

The senior advocate tweeted, “I think our leaders need to rise above pettiness and concentrate on more serious issues. Upcoming leaders have a lot to learn from the wrong approaches of present rulers. Deleting one post of the President out of thousands the man had posted on Twitter should not lead to a hasty reaction as done in this instance.

“It only portrays the President as intolerant of criticism. There is a better approach than the one adopted.”

Banire, who is a former Commissioner for Environment in Lagos State, said the suspension of Twitter was counter-productive just like the ban on crypto-currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He added, “The futility of the entire scheme is now reflected in the bypass in accessing Twitter accounts. The VPN has made nonsense of the entire suspension as Nigerians have migrated to the other level of accessibility.

“Why do the rulers do things that are of no moment or consequence? A similar thing occurred on the cryptocurrency issue. The purported regulation only succeeded in hyping all the dealings in the currency.”

Banire also faulted a threat by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to prosecute Nigerians who were still using Twitter.

The former APC legal adviser said there was no law in Nigeria that made tweeting illegal and therefore wondered how the AGF planned to implement the prosecution.

Banire maintained that the suspension of Twitter was putting Nigeria in a bad light on the foreign scene.

He added, “Again, why would the leaders want to continue to degrade the reputation of the country? Reactions to this development, globally, have not painted the nation in any good light. By now, I think the government must beat a tactical withdrawal.

“The worst aspect is that of prosecution. I have been wondering how? Which law prohibits the use of Twitter in the country? What is the penalty?”

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