…Condemn suspension of Twitter
By Ibrahim Wuyo
Christian lawyers in Nigeria have appealed to the Federal Government to immediately relieve the hardworking and good people of the South-Eastern part of Nigeria of military harassment and intimidation of the people and residents of the Zone.
The lawyers under the aegis of Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON), also condemned the suspension of the Twitter social media platform in its entirety, saying it was a violation of the fundamental human right of citizens.
In a communique issued at the physical and virtual President-in-Council meeting of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) held at Warri, Delta state, signed by Dr Arome M. OKwori, National President and Olatunji Omole, National Secretary, the lawyers said the Quarterly Meeting of the President-in-Council (PIC), a body consisting of the National Executive Officers, Chairmen and Secretaries of the Branches and the Heads and Secretaries of the Directorates of Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) held from the 17th to 19th June 2021 to deliberate on issues concerning the nation and CLASFON.
According to the communique, the President-in-Council in the business session deliberated on several issues amongst which are the following:
JUSUN strike and the Commendable role played and still being played by the Nigerian Bar Association, Twitter suspension and the proposed social media regulation open grazing, agitation for constitutional amendments, demilitarization of the Southeast, security and state policing, election and electoral framework and federal character.”
“The following resolutions and recommendations were made after extensive consideration and deliberations: JUSUN strike and the commendable role played and still played by the Nigerian Bar Association.”
“The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) commends the efforts made by the Nigerian Bar Association and other relevant actors over the suspension of the strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and recommends speedy implementation of the recommendations and agreement reached by the relevant stakeholders (Governors of various States and the State Houses of Assembly) on financial autonomy.”
0n Twitter suspension and intending social media regulation, the lawyers condemned the suspension of Twitter social media platform in its entirety “as same is a violation of the fundamental human right of the citizens enshrined in section 39(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”
“The action taken by the Federal Government has adversely affected the flow of foreign direct investment into our country and is also having a negative impact on the means of livelihood of our teeming youths thereby causing them untold hardship bearing in mind that most of the youths are unemployed by governments and the organised private sector and some of them undertake gainful activities using Twitter social media platform. The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria, therefore, urges the Federal Government to rescind its decision immediately while also urging the Management of Twitter to ensure effective monitoring of its platform in preventing the spread of hateful, offensive and damaging posts/tweets.”
On open grazing,” the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria supports the ban on open grazing by the Governors of the Southern States in Nigeria and recommends ranching which is the modern way of cattle, rearing. The Fellowship further asserts that encouraging open grazing or grazing routes as is being done by the Federal Government might occasion incessant clashes, violence and wanton destruction of lives and properties and other worrisome developments which are inimical to the constitutionally guaranteed rights to preserve lives and protect properties.”
Commenting on the agitation for a constitutional amendment, the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria applauded the recent initiative of the National Assembly (The Senate and House of Representatives) for steps being taken to further alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and appealed further to members of Legislative arm to ensure that this exercise is pursued to a logical conclusion and fully actualized so that it would not turn out to be an exercise in futility.
The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria passionately appealed to the Federal Government to immediately relieve the hardworking/good people of the South-Eastern part of Nigeria of military harassment/intimidation of the people and residents of the Zone.
“CLASFON further respectfully urges the President to refrain from utterances which might dampen the morale of law-abiding and loyal citizens of Nigeria from the South East in particular and other parts of Nigeria in general as some statements are inimical to the stability of Nigeria and therefore inconsistent with the fatherly role of the President and exemplary leadership expected of this high office.”
“The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria observes with dismay the unabating and rising incidences of kidnapping, banditry, coordinated armed attacks etc. that have seriously threatened the security of the nation. CLASFON supports the agitation for State Police as a panacea to tackle the prolonged problem of insecurity and wanton destruction of lives and properties across the Country and further recommends that compensation be paid to families who have lost loved ones.”
“The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria calls on the National Assembly to expeditiously conclude legislative action by passing the Electoral Act Amendment bill into law and for the President to assent to it without any delay to inspire the confidence of the citizenry in the electoral process as the nation prepares for the forthcoming general elections.”
“The Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria urges the Federal Government to have respect for the Federal Character principle in all its appointments as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” they said.