As Nigerians, you probably already know that we are the most conspicuous group on the African continent. We are everywhere, we are resilient, we are ambitious. Nigerians are the only good thing Nigeria has going for it. Everything else is in shambles, to put it very lightly. Unfortunately, Nigerian leaders have constantly missed this memo since 19 kpom kwem. As far as they are concerned, their only agenda for grasping on to power is to fill their pockets. See, I’m just tired!
Our penchant for recycling leaders has also ensured that we stay stuck in our vile, evil, regressive ways for decades on decades. And ensured that the same men that wore military gear nearly 30 years ago and ordered whole ethnic cleanses, have cloaked that gear with an Agbada and a cap and proceeded to feed us the same faeces that they fed our parent’s parents.
What’s different this time around though? What is at stake? Our voices. The fact that the world is only as small as the device in your palm makes it increasingly difficult for the corruption and incompetence of the people in power to go unnoticed. And not just to the people in the country, but to the world. And for reasons beneficial to us, our leaders have shown that they don’t want their dirty linen hanging in international backyards.
But does that mean they would do what they are supposed to? Probably they would consider paying the doctors that haven’t received their salaries in 5 months. Or strategize on security to ease the unrest in the Southeast where the herds men are raiding and murdering? Or tighten our borders and not negotiate with terrorists? Or perhaps address food security so that I don’t have to spend nearly 100 Naira to buy an egg.
I don’t think so. The government thinks that the fastest and best solution is to ban the social media giant that was one of the best ways to disseminate information in, around and outside the country. Freedom of speech and expression? Right out the window.
Why? Because twitter deleted a tweet that violated their guidelines. A tweet from a leader that incited violence and threatened his own citizens. Another reason? The African branch of the app was headquartered in another African country that isn’t Nigeria.
Can someone please tell our leaders that companies are not run-on vibes and inshallah. From the super yogo seller to the tech mogul, everybody needs at least Nepa light to run. And they single headedly ruin start-ups and tech companies that try to establish a presence here with the unsatisfactory environment for business.
The twitter ban is a purposeful way to kick us down, and then kick us some more when nobody’s looking. When the world cannot watch anymore. It is a gross abuse of power to try to silence well-meaning Nigerians that are only demanding that they do their job. It violates international rules of free speech. It shuts us off from the world and leaves us at the mercy of those who don’t know what they are doing half the time. And who proceeds to threaten us in the remaining half.
All of this just to hide the ineptitude of the past years. Of the past decades? Nigerians will still find a way around everything. Remember that resilience I talked about earlier? And the best thing is that we always find some humour no matter the situation. ( Though this is not always a good thing sha.)
With all the international recognition this news is bringing in, the government ought to know that Nigerians of this generation are not silenced until they see actual change. Besides, they can ban Twitter all they want, they will never be able to silence our voice.