The Youth Party has condemned the Federal Government over its decision to indefinitely suspend the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
The Party described the government’s hasty decision as a brazen infringement on the rights and dignity of Nigerians. The party stressed that the freedom of expression and access to information is an inalienable right that is sacrosanct and non-negotiable.
In a statement released on Twitter by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, government attributed the suspension to what it termed “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria”, added Segun Adeyemi, the Special Assistant To The President (Media).
But the Party, in a statement by its National Chair, Tomiwa Aladekomo, said the decision is illegal, unconstitutional and an attempt by the government to gag Nigerians.
According to him, “We strongly condemn the actions of the Federal Government banning the operations of Twitter in Nigeria as it grossly violates the rights of Nigerians to expression and access to information.
“This unnecessary and rather unfortunate decision is not only an attempt by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to shrink the social media space in its bid to silent Nigerians but it amounts to an assault on citizens constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
“It is strange and quite worrying that the government would consider a ban on Twitter or any other media outfit, not minding the economic and social consequences of it’s action; another sign of a government that is out of touch with realiaties of young, vibrant and technologically savvy population.
Tomiwa further called for the immediate reversal on the ban and for government to redirect its energy and resources in addressing the spate of kidnappings, banditry, secessionists’ attacks and other criminal activities that have continued to violently claim the lives of thousands of innocent Nigerians on a daily basis.