FG has no right to regulate freedom of opinion –Minority reps

House of Reps3

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has said the lifting of the ban placed on social media platform, Twitter, by the Federal Government indicates its appetite to ‘suppress’ constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens in Nigeria.

The caucus said the 1999 Constitution (as amended) guarantees the freedom of speech and expression which can be through social media tools like Twitter.

In a statement on Friday, signed by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, the caucus said this freedom 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.

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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 Federal Government, on Wednesday, lifted the suspension on Twitter operations in the country after 222 days.

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