NASS Joint Minority Caucus dares Buhari, asks Nigerians to continue tweeting
Against threats by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using Twitter, the Joint Minority Caucus of the Senate and the House of Representatives has asked Nigerians to go ahead and use their Twitter as they would not be contravening any law in Nigeria or any international statute.
The Caucus condemned the ban on Twitter by the government, describing the embargo as draconian and unacceptable.
The opposition lawmakers made their position known in a statement signed by Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, made available to journalists on Wednesday.
The Caucus said it recognized the provisions of Articles 19 and 20 of the United Nations Charter on Fundamental Human Rights, which Nigeria is a signatory to, as well as provisions of Sections 39 and 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and by these provisions, no one would be violating any law for using Twitter in Nigeria.
“As lawmakers, the Joint Caucus is pained by the anguish Nigerians, especially the youths, who find the use of Twitter as a means of livelihood and genuine social interaction, are passing through just because the APC-led Federal Government feels slighted that an individual’s post was deleted by Twitter for ethic violation,” the Caucus said.
“The Joint Caucus, therefore, calls on Nigerians to use various opportunities offered by technology and continue making use of Twitter since such does not violate any law in our country,” it said.
The Caucus lamented the agony Nigeria and Nigerians have been passing through since the ban on Twitter, saying they have been losing billions of naira on daily basis.
“This is completely unacceptable as it is worsening the already biting economic hardship and frightening unemployment level in the country. Moreover, the ban on Twitter in Nigeria appears to be in favour of criminal and terrorist elements, whose activities fester in an environment of suppressed information flow.
“The Joint Minority Caucus sympathizes with the organized private sector, manufacturing and service providing companies, small and medium enterprises, online businesses owners and other hardworking entrepreneurs across the country, whose genuine business and means of livelihood have been crippled by the unwarranted ban on Twitter by the APC Federal Government,” it said.
The Caucus said it also identifies with Nigerian students, research-based organizations, media houses, the organized civil society, faith-based organizations, community groups, among others, whose information-based activities have been violently disrupted by the ban.
“In the same vein, the Joint Caucus sympathizes with regional, states, local government as well as members of the international community, whose genuine and constructive activities have been crippled by the prohibition of twitter in Nigeria
“It also identifies with traditional rulers, who have even found twitter as a means of communicating with the constituents, especially in this era of insecurity in the country,” the Caucus stated.
It vehemently berated the APC-led government for abandoning its duty of addressing the serious economic and security problems confronting Nigeria to rather focus on dissipating energy victimizing Nigerians over their disagreement with Twitter for deleting a post by an individual.
The Caucus urged the Federal Government to swallow its pride, accept its misdoing and go and settle whatever issue it has with Twitter instead of this resort to inflicting pains on Nigerians.