Barrister Ismaeel Buba Ahmed, the Senior Special Assistant on National Social Investment Program to President Muhammadu Buhari, has confessed that he is personally unhappy not to be enjoying the service of twitter following the decision of the federal government to suspend the social media platform.
Speaking at a press briefing held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Conference scheduled next week, he however justified the suspension.
The National Youth Leader of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee wing of the ruling insisted that President Buhari did not ban Twitter in Nigeria but only clamped a temporary suspension.
He emphasised that he was not personally happy with the development, assuring that the controversy will soon be resolved amicably.
Ahmed also clarified that contrary to speculations that the federal government is planning to ban social media, there was no iota of truth in the insinuations.
“The government didn’t ban social media as a lot of people will insinuate, it is very important that we know that because Facebook is still in operation, Instagram is still in operation, WhatsApp is still in operation and a lot of other social media platforms still in operation.
“In fact, some people will tell you Twitter is for the elite young people and not necessary for the general public. I think there are far more subscribers on Facebook in Nigeria than they are on Twitter.
“But having said that it is still a very important medium for people. So, for whatever it is that government felt to suspend Twitter, not ban, there was a suspension and of course there is a conversation going on between the government and the representative of Twitter and I am sure it will be resolved,” he said.
On his unofficial personal view about the suspension, the APC youths leader, said: “We as young people our job is to represent our constituency and to plead with those we can plead with to come to amicable resolution.
“But as a government, if you are asking me as Ismail Ahmed whether I am okay with the suspension of a non-legal entity in Nigeria who feels it is okay for it to delete a tweet of the President without recourse to a conversation with the government representatives if it can reach it, I think at some point government needed to reinstate that it is a sovereign Nation and that no company with whatever name that does not have any legal personality in Nigeria will do to it as it pleases.
“If you ask me whether I am happy that there is no Twitter today that I cannot tweet, I will say, of course not. I am not happy that I am not twitting and I hope there will be an amicable resolution and I hope Twitter will be responsible going forward,” he said.
On the forthcoming youths conference, Ismail disclosed that President Buhari has accepted to declare the event open while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and other party leaders will be in attendance.
He also added that in line with COVID-19 protocol, five youth representatives from each state will be given opportunity to be in attendance while others will join through zoom.