Rising use of social media compel Togolese authorities to shut down Internet, contain protests
Indications have emerged showing that since yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, the Togolese authorities shut down the Internet as a measure to disrupt and disorganize the ongoing nationwide anti-government protest championed by youths on the powers of social media.
The authorities relied on security report and intelligence which indicated that the protest was being fueled by social media posts cajoling the government with anger provoking doctrines that can easily spike the youth segment of the population.
But thousands of protesters have smartly moved closer to the Ghana-Togo border to access Internet using the SIM cards of Ghanaian mobile phone companies to continue their protests online.
Most trending post that has been fueling the agitation for change in government according to investigation, has been “How can one family rule the country for 50 years?”
Business Hilights gathered further that the protesters, led by opposition parties are demanding an amendment in the Constitution for time limits of the president even as another set of protesters are also calling for Mr. Faure Gnassingbe who took over after his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema after his death in 2005 to quit.
Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had been Head of State since 1967, stepped down in 2005 and tactically planted his son in an election viewed by many as marred by irregularities.
It would be recalled that the protests had erupted last week with the death of seven youths who were reportedly murdered by security forces.
Even though the government had in a swipe, heeded to the original demands of the protesters by surreptitiously adopting a draft Bill amending Articles 52, 59 and 60 of the Constitution for term limits, the current wave of protests has shifted to calls for immediate end of the Gnassingbe dynasty.
Reports monitored on social media and the BBC indicate that apart from the area of Kara, which is a populated predominantly by Gnassingbe supporters, there were protests all over the country.
The scenario has impacted negatively on several sectors of the economy and may cause the economy to slip into recession if not contained within a short period.