Confusion as NASS joint caucus urges Nigerians to continue using Twitter

*It is agonising that Nigeria and Nigerians have been losing billions of Naira on a daily basis since the ban on Twitter services. This is completely unacceptable, says National Assembly Joint Minority Caucus

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

It is now a case of one arm of the Nigerian Government versus another in connection with issues arising from the suspension of Twitter operations in the country.

Pained by the frustration which a broad spectrum of Nigerians, especially businesses, organisations, and the youths, who find the use of Twitter and other social media channels as a means of livelihood and genuine social interaction, are passing through amid the ban, the Joint Minority Caucus of the Senate and House of Representatives in the National Assembly (NASS), Abuja, FCT, has restated its condemnation of the embargo on the technology firm as ‘draconian and unacceptable’.

The National Assembly Complex, Abuja, FCT

ConsumerConnect reports Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Minority Leader of the Senate, and Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, in a communiqué by the Joint Minority Caucus also dismissed threats by the government to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using Twitter after the ‘indefinite suspension’ of the global tech giant.

The communiqué said: “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.

It noted: “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 called on Nigerians to go ahead and access their Twitter accounts as they would not be contravening any law in Nigeria or any international statute.

The statement also said: “The Joint Minority Caucus sympathises with the organised private sector, manufacturing and service providing companies, small and medium enterprises, online business 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.”

Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Minority Leader of the Nigerian Senate

The caucus also noted that it identifies with our students, research-based organisation, media houses, the organised civil society, faith-based organisations, community groups among others, whose information-based activities have been violently disrupted by the ban.

Likewise, the Joint Caucus said it sympathised 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 the country thus far.

It also identified 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 NASS Caucus stated that it recognises 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).

However, it stated that by these provisions, no one will be violating any law for using Twitter in Nigeria.

As lawmakers, the Joint Caucus restated that it 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 Federal Government feels slighted that an individual’s post was deleted by Twitter for ethic violation.

The NASS Joint Minority Caucus, therefore, urged 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 equally advised 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 unwarranted pains on several millions of Nigerian consumers.

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