Says FG’s action threatens citizens’ right to information
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society Organisation, One Love Foundation, OLF, Saturday, gave 48 hours ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the ban on Twitter or will be sued on the account of infringing on the constitutional rights of Nigerians to access information.
This was contained in letter addressed to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and signed by its lawyer, Ihensekhien Samuel Jnr for the President and Founder, Patriot Patrick Eholor.
According to contents of the letter pointed that Federal Government’s action was without any legal and reasonable reasons or justification, rather citizens’ rights to impart and receive information as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution has been taken away because of the ban.
The letter reads in part, “Our group, One Love Foundation is an NGO committed to the promotion, defence of human rights, equality of all citizens and justice for every citizen all over the world.
“We are this evening in receipt of the announcement by the federal government of Nigeria over the banning from Nigeria airspace, of the worldwide microblogging site with acronym name as www.twitter.com.
“Consequently, this act by the FG of Nigeria without any legal and reasonable reasons/justification is not only illegal, unconstitutional but tend to drive fear in the eyes of ordinary Nigerians, that their enshrined rights to impart and receive information, are not only being threatened but look as if they are being taken away from them by this FG ban of Twitter in this regard.
“We, as a group hereby politely request the FG of Nigeria, to subsequently in good faith withdraw forthwith the ban of Twitter in this regard, as the economic, socio and other benefits of www. twitter.com are so numerous to Nigerians in this regard and hence this ban is not only untenable but is done in bad faith at this point in time.
“However if this our demands as stated above are not adhered to within 48 hours, failure of which, we shall be constrained to challenge this action of FG ban of www. twitter.com at the ECOWAS court and when the JUSUN strike is over at the Federal High court also, as we hope the wise counsel will prevail in this matter.”
On Friday, it was gathered that there were indications that the federal government has directed all telecom operators in the country to deactivate twitter on their networks by 12 midnight, and that after 12 midnight Friday, no twitter account of Nigerians will work within the country.