– The federal government’s insistence on prosecuting those violating the suspension order of Twitter have been dismissed
– A lot of famous Nigerian pastors have continued using the micro-blogging site despite the ban
– The highest Christian body in the country, Christian Association of Nigeria warned the government against harassing its members
FCT, Abuja – The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned the federal government against arresting and prosecuting Twitter ban violators, especially its members stressing that their tweets were meant for church members worldwide.
The Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, on Saturday, June 5 directed the director of public prosecution in his office to begin the process of prosecuting violators of the government’s suspension order.
Despite the prosecution order, many prominent Nigerians including pastors have continued using Twitter openly.
Reacting to the AGF’s stance, Adebayo Oladeji, the special assistant on media to the president of CAN told The Punch newspaper:
“We caution the federal government against carrying out its threats against those highly respected leaders.
“What they did was justified after all they run churches with a global outlook and they made it clear in their position. If they (the government) carry out the threat, it will only compound problems in the country.
“Any government policy that suspends the fundamental rights of the citizens is not acceptable to us. The government should rise up to the menace of insecurity facing the country without harassing the innocent and elder statesmen.”
Meanwhile, The Nation newspaper reports that a row broke out in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 8 when some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers protested against the Twitter ban.
According to the report, the protest by some of the PDP members began when Gbajabiamila ruled out of order, an observation by Honourable Kingsley Chinda from Rivers state concerning the issue.
In a related development, Nana Nwachukwu, a legal consultant, activist, and research expert, has condemned the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government.
According to her, the move by the Buhari-led administration has taken Nigeria down so many achievement notches.
Similarly, civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa has expressed dismay over the indefinite suspension of Twitter services in Nigeria by the federal government.
The group also frowned at the directive by the ministry of information that all Over-The-Top services must be licensed by the National Broadcasting Commission before they can operate within Nigeria.
The organisation said it is concerned that at a time when nations around the world are building mutually constructive relationships with citizens through diverse channels of communication, the Nigerian government is imposing a ban on Twitter.