Governor El-Rufrai had drawn reactions on the social media for using Twitter despite the ban
EKO HOT BLOG reports that Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai on Wednesday returned to Twitter after several months break despite the ban on the microblogging platform by the federal government to chat with an admirer.
El-Rufai, like many of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration faithful, had studiously stayed away from the social media platform which had largely served as his chosen medium for public engagement after the federal government shutdown the site on June 5.
The Governor who last tweeted was on June 6, was caught chatting with a user with handle @dmightyangel who praised him for his works as the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
The owner of the handle, Taiwo Ajakaye, tweeted, “I really wish we will get more @elrufai in politics. The man left FCT and to date, the Federal Capital Territory has not been able to have another FCT minister that is close to the shoe latchet of El-Rufai in terms of courage, administration, performance & focus, 14 years ago o.”
Responding to the tweet, the Governor wrote, “This is an exaggerated compliment @dmightyangel but thank you for some of the words of encouragement. God Bless our nation. – @elrufai”
In the comment section, @dexybaba asked the governor if he was using a Virtual Private Network, and he replied that he was out of the country, and “can tweet for the time being.”
Also, #EndSARS campaigner, and human rights activist, Rinu Oduala was quick to point out to the governor that “The only place you get the freedom of speech is outside Nigeria,” in the comment section.
Another Twitter user, @ogbuebunu, quoting her tweet, also said, “shamelessness without a pair. Tweeting under the pretence of being outside the country shows moral bankruptcy. One would expect he would stand on a high ground since it was his party that banned Twitter. Well, he is still a Nigerian politician. Zero integrity.”
In response, Governor El-Rufai maintained that Rinu was wrong as “conflating Twitter with ‘freedom of speech’ is a significant exaggeration.”
“Freedoms of many descriptions existed before and without Twitter, and will remain long after!! Enjoy your day,” he said.
Human Rights activist, Aisha Yesufu also called out the Governor for the hypocrisy of using the platform outside the country, while the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), an All Progressive Congress member like himself, had banned the use of Twitter in Nigeria.
“You really should be absolutely and disgustingly ashamed of yourself @elrufai,” she wrote. “You are going outside to enjoy the very basic thing a government you are part of have denied the people. While enjoying Twitter without VPN, you also enjoy the security you have denied your people.”
The government had, on June 4, announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operation following the deleting of tweets made by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had threatened to treat members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the “language they understand”.
The federal government had however attributed the suspension to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
Following the ban, many Nigerians turned to Virtual Private Networks to bypass restrictions placed by network providers.
However, Nigeria’s Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said the Mr Malami would ensure that Nigerians who accessed Twitter after the federal government proclaimed a ban on it would be prosecuted.
The Twitter ban has attracted criticism from various quarters including Amnesty International, British and Canadian missions, and the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria.
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