Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi on Saturday called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to be mature in accepting criticisms.
Gumi made the call reacting to the recently imposed ban on Twitter by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Gumi added that the Buhari-led government should “have a wide chest” in accepting criticisms from Nigerians.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had disclosed the ban on Twitter yesterday, adding that the step was taken because Twitter was being used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”..
Addressing a press conference, Mohammed had said the Nigerian government suspended Twitter’s operation in the country.
The federal government announced its plans to suspend twitter less than 72 hours after the micro-blogging site deleted a war inciting tweet by the President.
Reacting to the ban, Gumi warned that the Nigerian government cannot fight the media.
He stressed that social media platforms have allowed both the government and the citizens to always state their sides on issues.
According to Gumi: “The Federal Government should show more maturity in its actions, they can’t fight the media. The Federal Government should have a wide chest to accept criticism.
“They should not fight the media; platforms like Twitter, Facebook and other social media have given people the opportunity to hear from both sides.
“The Federal Government should try to be honest, frank and to engage. Government should have a wide chest not to allow delinquent youths to anger it into massacring people. The government should express such maturity to allow criticism and act accordingly.”
Other prominent individuals and organizations also who reacted to the ban:
“All Nigerians have the right to freedom of speech and the responsibility not to misuse that right. Any action taken by the government must be measured, proportionate and not to suppress basic freedoms.”
Amnesty International condemns the Nigerian government’s suspension of Twitter @Twitter in #Nigeria🇳🇬 — a social media widely used by Nigerians to exercise their human rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and access to information. #TwitterBan
As leaders, we should go beyond emotional reactions to issues and think about how our actions will affect the people we lead and our international ratings socially and economically.