The joint minority caucus of the Senate and the House of Representatives has urged Nigerians to disregard the ban placed by the Federal Government on Twitter and keep on using the social media platform.
The National Assembly caucus, which depicted the Twitter ban as stringent, complained that many Nigerians are losing their sources of income to the directive.
The Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; and Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, made this known in a statement released on Wednesday, entitled, ‘NASS Joint Minority Caucus Asks Nigerians to Continue Using Twitter.’
As indicated by the statement, the joint caucus met over the ban by the All Progressives Congress government and “restates its condemnation of the embargo as draconian and unacceptable.”
The resistance lawmakers also brushed off threats by the government to arrest and prosecute Nigerians for using twitter, urging Nigerians to “go ahead and use their Twitter (handles) as they would not be contravening any law in Nigeria or any international statute.”
The lawmakers stated they acknowledge the provisions of Articles 19 and 20 of the United Nations Charter on Fundamental Human Rights, which Nigeria is a signatory to, and also provisions of Sections 39 and 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), stating that “by these provisions, no one will be violating any law for using twitter in Nigeria.
The statement read in part, “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 ethical violation.
“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 is agonising that Nigeria and Nigerians have been losing billions of Naira on a daily basis since the ban on Twitter. 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 caucus empathized with the organised private sector, manufacturing and service providing companies; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; online businesses owners and other hard working entrepreneurs across the nation, “whose genuine business and means of livelihood have been crippled by the unwarranted ban on Twitter by the APC Federal Government.”
The minority lawmakers additionally acknowledged students, research-based organisations, media houses, the organised civil society, faith-based organisations and community groups, amongst others, whose information-based activities have been brutally affected by the ban.
The statement added, “In the same vein, the joint caucus sympathises 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 Joint Caucus strongly criticises the APC-led regime for neglecting its duty of tackling the severe economic and security problems facing our country to rather focus on wasting energy oppressing Nigerians over their dispute with Twitter for deleting a post by an individual.
The Caucus advices the Federal Government to swallow its pride, accept its wrongdoing and go and resolve whatever dispute it has with Twitter instead of resorting to cause pain on citizens of Nigeria.
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