One Would Think Twitter can Replace Nigeria - Stephen Auta

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat" - Matthew 7:13.
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Dr. Stephen Auta

The past thirty-six hours have again been challenging for Nigerians,  most especially those who have the privilege of occupying cyberspace.

The news is that the government of Nigeria has banned Twitter. It announced it via its Twitter account, " The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting l Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria".

Social media has again become a stage for debate. Whosoever talks appear to know what they are talking about. They also appear to be more right than their opponents in the interesting discussion.

Then I read the submission of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and that of the Federal government on why they are temporarily banning Twitter.  Both seem to me to be right. Twitter the Governor says is part of our social and economic lives now and has employed so many Nigerians who use it to earn their livelihood. On its part, the Federal government sighted security concerns.


Read the Governors tweet;

"As leaders, we should go beyond emotional reactions to issues and think about how our actions will affect the people we lead and our international ratings socially and economically.

"Twitter has become the platform for young people and indeed all Nigerians to exercise their fundamental right to express and publish an opinion. They use the platform to complain, argue and give feedback to government and its agencies who in turn, use these to improve policies.

"This is a fundamental point that should be kept in mind as we debate the necessity of this suspension.

"We should also remember that Twitter has gone beyond a source of communication for many of our hardworking youths in Nigeria. It has become a source of livelihood for many, irrespective of their political affiliations or religious leanings.

"Nigerian youths and digital communications organisations earn a living from being able to use the platform to post communications on behalf of their clients. 

"Others who may not have physical stores also rely on Twitter to give visibility to their products and services.

"Furthermore, I believe the Federal Government should be actively interested in how certain policies and actions will affect investor confidence.

"I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to reverse this suspension for the greater good of Nigerians".

In all these, I have realized that whatever the case might be, my country is my country.  My country is home and the leadership is like my parents, to me, personally. Then I remembered my childhood and the challenges we had to brave before the little success we have recorded today came.

Growing up then, I understood as a young boy that no matter how unpleasant the situation at home was, no matter how wrong my youthfulness thought my father was, I knew that home was home. I knew that I had to play my part for the benefit of my family. Today,  I know that I have played my part.

Today also, I know I have to play my part for my country no matter how bad it is.

Twitter is a market, it is a joint, it is a lounge, it is a club. Nigeria is home. When the market closes, I will go back home. If the home closes, the market can't be home. The market can only be home when I lose the sanity of my mind.

For I know that,

 "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat"
- Matthew 7:13.