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Twitter Ban: FG should apologise to Nigerians – Minority Reps

House of Representatives

 

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has said the federal government should apologise to Nigerians for the assault on their freedom of expression and huge financial loss following the over 200 days ban on the social media platform, Twitter.

The caucus, made the call in a statement on Friday by its Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, in which he stated that the constitution guarantees freedom of speech and opinion by Nigerians, including expressing such through tools such as Twitter.

The lawmakers accused the federal government of having an appetite to ‘suppress’ constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens in Nigeria. This followed its recent “declaration” of lifting the ban on the use of Twitter in the country.

According to them, this freedom of opinion should not be subjected to partisan approval or regulation under a democratic rule.

The statement read in parts

“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 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 urged the APC-led administration to be open to the views of Nigerians and make adjustments for the good of the nation, the caucus also commended Nigerians for their resilience, innovations, and resistance to ‘suppression’ by the APC government. They also gave assurance of not relenting in the fight for rights of the people at all times.

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