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Twitter Ban: Is Buhari a dissent president? ~ By Onwuasoanya Jones


The ban or suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria is a recast of Buhari’s Decree Number 4 with which he tried to suppress free speech in his infamous 20 months regime as a military head of State. This decree was considered one of the most repressive decrees by any government. One can only imagine what would have become of Dorsey if he were within the President’s reach.

President Buhari may have talked so much about his purported conversion from a military dictator to a supposed democrat, but this action, among others, continue to expose him as a reluctant democrat rather than a converted democrat.

The President should understand that he is not a maximum ruler, or at least, that our Constitution, as faulty as it might be, does not permit him to be one. He cannot use his powers as a President of Nigeria to fight personal ego battles. The suspension of Twitter operations is a direct response to the rightful deletion of Mr. President’s hateful post on his Twitter page.

The President may be above the law in Nigeria, but he cannot be above the law in the consideration of organizations established and operating in countries where law is supreme.

By this errant action, Mr. President has also shown himself forth as a disobedient and undisciplined individual, who lacks every moral rationale to complain when some people refuse to obey his directives.

Before Mr. President signed on to Twitter, he was presented with terms and organizations for usage of the platform, which he apparently signed on to before he was allowed to use that platform. If the President feels that the platform has tampered with his right, the most he should have done was to sue the management or exit the platform in protest, not using State power to fight personal battles. The President took laws into his hands and the implication is that he is encouraging Nigerians to resort to self-help when some actions of government do not go their way.

At a time when long-suffering citizens like us are preaching that those who are aggrieved with policies of government should explore legitimate and democratic channels to seek redress or bring about change, the President makes us look naive by his own resort to self-help, using apparatus of State power, in his response to a personal grievance.


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