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Catholic bishops urge FG to lift Twitter ban

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Reverend Ignatius Kaigama

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has urged the Federal Government to lift the suspension imposed on the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in the country.

Also, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Denis Isizoh, said: “It is unfortunate that government suspended the use of Twitter in the country, and advised that the ban should not last long, as people should be able to express themselves responsibly.”

Kaigama told journalists yesterday, at the workshop organised for Directors of Communication in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja: “It is strange in this era of democracy when the world is celebrating the media and using it effectively for economic, political and social development, Nigeria is banning it.

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He said: “If somebody has problem with the media, there is a way to address it. But because I understand that our President’s message was deleted by Twitter, then, in reaction, the whole nation had to be suspended from Twitter use. It does not sound reasonable. I am sure there is a better and effective ways of addressing this.”

According to him, Nigeria needs social media. “What we need to stress is that they communicate what is authentic, genuine and what is going to foster harmony, social cohesion and promotes value. That is what we want, not to ban them.

“The wrong use of the media is what we should ban, not the media itself. This means a lot to Nigerians, and it is a very genuine source of communication that should be allowed. I think it is very important that they resolve whatever the problem is and quickly lift the ban, so that people with economic and political interest can use it effectively, to promote progress.”

The cleric observed that the type of democracy being practised in Nigeria is a mixture of so many types of government, including the traditional style of leadership, the dictatorial type of rulership and elements of democracy.

“So, it gives us something different from the conventional democracy. But whatever it is, we should be free and happy. We should have enough. We have freedom of speech a little, but freedom to enjoy life and be happy is what we need to work on. Our children should go to good schools and attend good medical facilities, and people should be free to move round.

“This north-south dichotomy should be eliminated completely. The serious differences between Muslims and Christians favouring one group should be totally discouraged. Merit and hard work should be the criterion guiding us, rather than sentiment,” he added.

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