Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome has berated the federal government for banning twitter and threatening to prosecute Nigerians caught using the social media platform.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Human Rights Activist called on the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami who issued the threat to start building thousands of prisons because most Nigerians would violate the order he described as unconstitutional.
He said: “The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has just ordered the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation to immediately prosecute offenders contravening the Federal Government’s ban on twitter operations in Nigeria. Indeed he wants the DPP to liaise with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the National Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant Government agencies to ensure “speedy prosecution of offenders without further delay”.
“How I wish that Malami’s APC Government, has displayed such alacrity and sense of urgency on the grave insecurity challenges of the country; the parlous economy and the mounting corruption ravaging our land.
“Malami did this with Lai Mohammed apparently being aware that many knowledgeable Nigerians had started to use different Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to clearly bypass the blockage.
“This government must be ready to build thousands of prisons across all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria so as to accommodate the deluge of ‘erring’ Nigerians.
“This government does not appear to have weighed carefully the serious implications of its actions and the likely ricochetting effects. Many Nigerians run global businesses with links and business partners across the world. They carry on business using the social media of Twitter. Secondly, many Nigerians, especially the jobless youth who have been rendered destitute by this thus anti-masses government.
“They rely heavily on legitimate income realized from the platform through advertisement of their products and services and act on behalf of their not so ICT-compliant clients who desire to reach out to the world banning Twitter is akin to what this government did in a kneel-jerk action on coming to power whether thoughtlessly banned Nigerians from operating their domiciliary foreign accounts. The naira has never recovered from this shock treatment.
“Perhaps, more important is that the ban outrightly denies citizens of their individual and collective right to freedom of speech and right to freedom of expression and the press, contrary to section 39 of the Constitution. The cumulative effect of these negative acts is a serious blight on Nigeria’s image both at home and abroad.”