…says FG has no right to regulate freedom of opinion
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has described the “declaration” by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government of having lifted its unconstitutional ban on use of Twitter in Nigeria as “further demonstration of its appetite to suppress constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens in Nigeria.”
The Caucus asked the government to apologize to Nigerians for infringing of the rights of Nigerians, stressing that the ban had caused many economic losses.
The charge was contained in a statement by the minority leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu on Friday.
The statement read thus: “The caucus holds that freedom of speech and opinion by Nigerians, including expressing such through social media tools like Twitter, are 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 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 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 apologizing 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 insists 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.
*Our Caucus commends Nigerians for their resilience, innovations and resistance to suppression by the APC government and assures that the caucus will never relent in fighting for the rights of the people at all times.”