The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has challenged Nigerians to release any evidence where the All Progressives Congress, APC, ever tried to use the social media platforms to tear the country apart as an opposition party,
He lamented that some Nigerians have been taking undue advantage of the Twitter ban in the country, to blackmail the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government.
He spoke on Tuesday night, in an interview with Channels Television, on ‘Politics Today’, in response to questions that the APC used the social media to rise to power in 2015.
His exact words: “As a political party APC, can you tell us examples when we tried to use social media platforms to set the country ablaze?
“We should not be blackmailed into a corner and behave as if we are acting against our own principles.
“We are not talking about stifling free speech. People have been using this as a blackmail weapon that we rode to power using social media. That is blackmail because we need to set specific examples where we use social media to undermine the territorial integrity and peace and unity of Nigeria.
“Nobody is saying that people should not use social media platforms, nobody is saying that we should not call government officials to question. Nobody is saying that you should not even abuse us but is it right for you to go to social media and promote false stories that are capable of turning one part of the country against another?”
Elsewhere, on Tuesday, the ECOWAS Court of Justice joined the call to condemn the decisions to ban Twitter in Nigeria, or arrest those still using the platform.
The court restrained the Federal Government from imposing sanctions or harassing, intimidating, arresting, or prosecuting Twitter.
It also restricted the government from carrying out such actions against any other social media service provider, as well as media houses, pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging the government’s suspension of Twitter operations in the country.
Reacting to the judgement, Keyamo stated: “I have not seen anywhere where they said the ECOWAS court is the moral thermometer or barometer to decide whether Nigeria’s image is bad or not.”