The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has described the “declaration” by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of lifting the ban on the use of Twitter in Nigeria as a further demonstration of its appetite to ‘suppress’ constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens in Nigeria.
The caucus, in a statement on Friday by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, held that freedom of speech and opinion by Nigerians, including expressing such through social media tools like Twitter, were clearly guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and cannot be subjected to partisan approval or regulation under a democratic rule.
“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,” Elumelu stated.
He added, “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 Minority Caucus insisted that instead of seeking to suppress free speech in our country, the APC government should be open to the views of Nigerians and make adjustments for the good of the nation.
It commended Nigerians for their resilience, innovations, and resistance to ‘suppression’ by the APC government and assured them that the caucus would not relent in fighting for the rights of the people at all times.