Nigerian entertainers, Ruggedman and Seyi Law, have challenged a former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, for justifying the Twitter ban announced by the federal government on Friday.

In response to Twitter deleting a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari which the social media platform deemed as inciting violence, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter’s operation in Nigeria indefinitely.

The entertainers and Mr Garba guested on PepperRoom, a reality tv’s weekly Instagram live session on Sunday.

There, they fielded questions from the viewers and the host around the trending Twitter ban in Nigeria.

During the session, Mr Garba, who recently filed, and withdrew a lawsuit against Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, for supporting the #EndSARS protests, expressed delight over the development.

He described the ban by the federal government as laudable.

Mr Garba also described the American microblogging and social networking service as “an insurrectionist tool” capable of undermining the sovereignty of the country.

“Twitter is not a social media app, Twitter is an insurrectionist tool that is aiding and abetting Nnamdi Kanu and his terrorist IPOB commanders to be able to destroy the Nigerian space. Twitter has long ceased to be a social media platform of freedom of expression,” he said.

Ruggedman
Debate

But rap artiste, Ruggedman, who argued against the ban, said the San-Francisco-based social media giant connects at least five Nigerians to employment opportunities daily.

He noted that Nigerians who were extorted or illegally detained by the Nigerian law enforcement agency have received help via the platform.

The human rights activist said on the day the medium was banned, he and his team were working on a case reported on Twitter. He also said he wondered if the government thought about it before acting.

He said, “Now we have thousands of young innocent Nigerians who did not do anything wrong but because of what happened in the street are in the police custody.

“Right now, we have thousands of young innocent men and women in cells being extorted and can’t do anything about it. Did anybody think about it? Now we have thousands of Nigerians who on a normal day have accidents and things that happen on the streets and the fastest way they can get help is through Twitter.

He urged those in power to consider the people first before making a decision that would make “over 200 million people suffer.”

Seyi Law ,who took a legal approach, said, the Twitter ban announced by the Ministry of Information is a disregard for the constitution because it was not discussed with the legislative arm of government before it was enforced.

The comedian-cum actor further stated that “the minister of information had no authority to make law in this country constitutionally. And secondly, even if there was going to be a ban, or probably should have been an executive order which it wasn’t.”

Seyi Law
Alternative opinion

But Mr Adamu maintained that if Twitter is not “regularised,” it could cause “political instability” in the country. He said unregulated information led to the cold war and the Rwanda genocide.

He urged the government to “arrest the information machine that is trying to bring instability in the land,” adding that IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, leverages Twitter to conscript innocent Nigerians into their army.

However, Seyi Law questioned Mr Garba on what the Nigerian government has been doing to end the war against insurgency and other related crimes “despite the linking of the NIN to our sim cards and BVN, there has not been any tangible headway.”

He said the government ought to have called Twitter to a “negotiating table” before the ban and also report Mr Kanu’s tweet which he (Mr Garba) said was invoking violence in the nation.

He argued that Twitter and Facebook suspended former U.S. President Donald Trump and their sovereignty has not been affected.

He accused the former presidential aspirant of supporting the ban because he thinks it would allow Crowwe, Mr Adamu’s instant messaging and financial transaction app, to gain ground in Nigeria.

But Mr Adamu, who said that Twitter is a “pure black market operating platform” and a “tool of insurrection” in Nigeria, said the platform has no license to operate in Nigeria.

“What we need to do is to make them regularise it. Ask them to come and regularise, register in Nigeria, have an office in Nigeria, have an address, and pay Nigerian tax,” he said.

Mr Adamu reacts to copyright infringement

In his reaction to an allegation that his app “copied and pasted” Spotify’s terms and conditions, he said “some people decided to put it there to smear the image of the app.

He urged Seyi Law to download his app on the Google Play Store and sign up to check if there was any copyright violation.

A quick check by PREMIUM TIMES on Crowwe app’s ratings and reviews on the Google Play Store shows that it has less than two-star ratings out of five and mostly negative reviews.

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