From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative (TIFPI), has said that the choice of Ghana, as Twitter’s headquarters in Africa has given negative perception of the global community on Nigeria, in terms of consular and diplomatic relations, including international politics.
Executive Director of the group, Livingstone Wechie, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, said the organisation viewed the position of Twitter owner, Jack Dorsey, as pointed and factual.
Wechie said it was a caution to the nation to address its internal shortfalls and not to debunk the statement or seek justification for its inactions.
He stated: “It is a caution to the Nigerian state to either address its internal political, structural and constitutional disputations and faultlines, which have severally and adversely damaged its potential development in all ramifications.
“Sadly, Twitter in its statement issued by Kayvon Beykpour and Uche Adegbite, Twitter’s Product Lead, and Director, Product Management, Global Markets, respectively, in reaction to its choice of Ghana, christened Ghana as the champion of democracy. It said its decision was informed by Ghana’s “support for free speech and online freedoms”.
“Without any controversy, Nigeria falls short of these democratic virtues in the face of bad governance and the agitation for restructuring, which has now degenerated into the wide push for disintegration or breakup of the biggest black state which styles itself as the giant of Africa, which claim has come under scrutiny.
“Yet, government continues to play rhetoric and threatens those who speak up on these issues unnecessarily. The issues in the Lower Niger, South East states, North East, Middle Belt and South West are facts that stare us in the face and demand urgent attention.
“The counsel to Nigeria today, is to avoid the temptation of justification or defence against this twitter rebuke, but look inwards in conscience and in truth to address its problems”.
The Executive Director of the group further cautioned that the growing cases of corruption and human rights abuses in the country, as well as government’s unwillingness to address the challenges holistically, would rob Nigeria of its place in the comity on Nations.
Wechie expressed: “The growing cases of institutional corruption, witchhunt of alternative voices and attack and death of the human rights space should serve as a clarion call for either a new Nigeria or a Nigeria that will become history.
“Global rating and index as contained in international reports are worthy of reference here. The biggest consequences will be the loss of Nigeria’s place in global investment and economic growth resulting from consular and diplomatic blacklist if we do not hurry to do the needful. Environment is key if economy must thrive”.