Twitter Ban: FG Accused Of Having Appetite To ‘Suppress’ Citizens Right
Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has accused the federal government of having an appetite to ‘suppress’ constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens in Nigeria, following its recent “declaration” of lifting the ban on the use of Twitter in the country.
The caucus’ leader, Ndudi Elumelu, noted in a statement posted on Friday, January 14 that the constitution ensures Nigerians’ freedom of speech and expression, including using social media tools like Twitter to do so.
According to the congressman, in a democratic society, this freedom of expression should not be susceptible to partisan permission or restriction.
The statement read;
“That is why at the wake of the ban on the use of Twitter in Nigeria in June 2021, the Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives forcefully condemned the decision as a provocative, obnoxious, and unjustifiable clampdown on the rights of Nigerians which also showed the APC government’s intolerance and aversion to the views, opinions, and aspirations of Nigerian citizens, especially the youths on matters of state.
“It was also in the light of that that the Minority Caucus in the National Assembly stood by the law and charged Nigerians to continue using Twitter irrespective of the unconstitutional ban since they would not be contravening any known law in Nigeria or any international statutes.
“Our caucus holds that the declaration of a lift on the ban on Twitter amounts to regulatory approval on freedom of speech, which is completely unknown to our laws. The APC government should rather be apologising to Nigerians for infringing on their rights as well as for the huge economic losses recorded as a result of the ban.”
The caucus also praised Nigerians for their resilience, innovations, and opposition to the APC government’s “suppression,” urging the APC-led administration to be open to the views of Nigerians and make modifications for the welfare of the country. They also stated that they will not give up the struggle for people’s rights at any time.
FG Lifts Twitter Ban
Twitter Ban- Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval, the Federal Government has lifted the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The decision was announced by the Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE.
In a statement in Abuja, he said the approval was given following a memo written to the President by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the lifting of the suspension of Twitter operation in Nigeria effective from 12am tonight, 13th January 2022.
“The approval was given following a memo written to the President by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim.
“In the Memo, the Minister updated and requested the President’s approval for the lifting based on the Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement’s recommendation.”
Twitter Reacts To Ban Lift By The Federal Government
Twitter has expressed its delight over the availability of its microblogging platform in Nigeria.
Nigerian iexclusive News The embargo was lifted by the federal government after more than 220 days.
The judgment was certified by Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, Chairman Technical Committee Nigeria-Twitter Engagement and Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) (NITDA).
The approval came when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim, submitted a message to President Muhammadu Buhari, Kashifu said in an Abuja statement on Wednesday.
“We are glad that Twitter has been restored for everyone in Nigeria,” The Tech giant announced in a tweet via its @Policy handle. Our objective in Nigeria and around the world is to contribute to public discourse.
“In Nigeria, where people use Twitter for business, cultural engagement, and civic participation, we are firmly committed.”