The Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives on Saturday cautioned the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that the indefinite suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria is a clear violation of freedom of speech, including democratic debates and dialogue and other prescribed by the 1999 constitution. The caucus, therefore, demanded President Buhari to reverse the ban.
The federal legislators that constitute the House Minority Caucus, in a statement on Saturday by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, declared that the indefinite suspension is “provocative, obnoxious and unjustifiable”.
The federal lawmakers on the platform of the Opposition Peoples Democratioc Party (PDP) declared that the decision of the Federal Government in suspending Twitter indefinitely reflect “smacks of intolerance, insensitivity, and aversion to the views, opinions and aspirations of Nigerian citizens, especially, the youths, on matters of state.”
The lawmakers, therefore, rejected the ban on twitter in Nigeria, arguing that the action amounts to a clampdown and a direct infringement on the rights of Nigerians to free speech as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
They maintained that the suspension is suppression of Nigerian citizens, and a plot to shut Nigerians out of the constitution amendment processes.
“The Minority Caucus is disturbed that the suspension of Twitter in the country came after the social media platform deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets.
“Such response by the Federal Government has raised further concerns over the APC-led administration’s disturbing rating on issues of political intolerance, abuse of rights and violation of rules in our country,” the Minority Caucus declared.
The Caucus also pointed out that the Federal Government banned twitter at a time the National Assembly is conducting its public hearing for the amendment of the constitution, arguing that the ban may constitute a major setback capable of diminishing public confidence in the exercise as well as other processes genuine efforts by the legislature to strengthen democratic tenets in the country.
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