By Omeiza Ajayi

The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has defended Friday’s suspension of microblogging platform, Twitter, by the President Muhammadu Buhari regime, saying the decision was borne out of national interest.

“We are a democratic and independent nation. Citizens should defend our sovereignty by supporting the federal government’s Twitter suspension. It is in our national interest”, the party declared.

National Secretary of APC’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe disclosed this in a statement Saturday in Abuja.

APC in the statement also challenged talented Nigerians to use the opportunity to develop alternative and competitive Social Media applications that can rival Twitter and other Western-developed applications.

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Part of the statement reads; “The All Progressives Congress APC urges Nigerians talented in the development of social media/software applications to seize the opportunity of the suspension of Twitter operations in the country to develop homegrown applications that can rival existing social media platforms and meet the needs of Nigerians.

“Russia has VKontakte (VK), China has Weibo, among several homegrown social media platforms. The APC believes that the country has the potentials and talents that can develop alternative and competitive applications to existing platforms in the world. Twitter’s suspension will undoubtedly serve as a positive trigger to unleash the creative potentials of Nigerians in the global digital space.

“This is a challenge to our vibrant youths with such talents. They will get support in the exercise from relevant federal government agencies as well as the numerous Information and Communication Technology ICT training and research establishments in the country.

“The recent announcement by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy that Nigeria will soon start the production of smartphones and Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards for the African market is evidence that the country has what it takes to make a deep and strong foray into the global ICT industry.

The APC had earlier released a statement asking Twitter and other operators of social media pages to use their platforms to check divisive and inciting rhetoric, particularly in Nigeria. We tasked them on the important responsibilities to curb fake news, disinformation, hate speech, among others. Evidently, Twitter failed to do this and even allowed their platform to be used by arsonists, insurrectionists and separatists in the country”.

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