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Ban insecurity not Twitter, ActionAid tells FG


The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, has urged the Federal Government to immediately unban Twitter, a microblogging social media platform, and rather ban insecurity and other socio-economic challenges confronting the country.


She made the plea on Tuesday in Abuja at the Youth Digital Engagement Project closeout and dissemination meeting.


According to her, the recent ban of Twitter by the government of Nigeria is not only a step backwards for the YDE project campaign, but also threatens the civic space in Nigeria which has continued to shrink in recent years.


She called on the government to rescind its decision as this has a huge impact on the lives of emerging young entrepreneurs who depend on social media for their livelihood.


“It is also a counter-productive move for a nation seeking to create more jobs and reduce poverty as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery strategy,” Obi said.


She said that the YDE sought to use technology to support the work of young people in holding duty bearers to account through funding from the Danish International Development Agency.


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She said that in Nigeria, the innovation was pioneered in partnership with Gombe State Youth Parliament, Gombe State; the African Human Development Centre, Akwa Ibom State and the Centre for Information Technology and Development in the FCT.




Obi said that young people were supported and empowered to access information, analyse data, present evidence, and lead their communities in taking action through the use of digital engagement tools through the project.


Obi, however, noted that data shows that awareness is low and the proportion of persons that have benefitted from the programmes is even lower, compared to expectations and experiences of Brazil and other countries with a similar policy.


Also, a representative of the Centre for Information Technology and Development in FCT, Josephine Adokwu, said that the strategic location of the FCT in the north-central region of the country and the dominance of farming activities exposes its inhabitants to variants of shocks.


On his part, the Gombe State Youth Parliament/JONAPwD, Gombe State represented by Khalid Ahmed, said that findings showed that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed young persons and their families to hunger, poverty, insecurity and worsened access to health services in the state.


“Most respondents, being farmers, were further exposed to the challenges of climate change as storage of farm harvest could not last due to market closures and poor patronage. The findings from Gombe State data shows that three out of 10 persons with disabilities surveyed expressed that their welfare was severely affected by the COVID – 19 pandemic among others”, he said.

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