#TwitterBan: Don’t Harass Foreign Envoys – PDP Warns FG

...Considers Court Action, Civil Protests

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government against harassing foreign envoys and other members of the international community for not backing the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operation in the country.

PDP stated this in a Monday press release signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.

The party said its position was predicated on the summoning of the envoys of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada among others by the Federal Government, “for standing on the side of Nigerians in criticising the unwarranted suspension of Twitter in our country”.

The Herald had reported that during a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama, the envoys described the suspension as a violation of freedom of expression of Nigerians.

Read Also: #TwitterBan: Like Adeboye, Pastor Kumuyi Says Deeper Life Church Can Tweet From Anywhere

The PDP said it was alarmed by the summoning of the envoys, saying it smacked of “intolerance towards the international community as obtained in Idi Amin’s dictatorial Uganda of 1971 to 1979”.

“Our party notes that there is no law or statute that prohibits foreign envoys from speaking out against clear violation of internationally enshrined freedom of expression and right to social interactions as provided by Twitter and other social media platforms.

“In fact, the defence of such rights is a fundamental duty which envoys owe their host nations and the international community.

“The PDP therefore cautions that any harassment or assault on foreign envoys place them at great risk as well as pitch our nation against other members of the international community.

“It is instructive for the APC and the Buhari administration to note that given the current downturn of our national life under their misrule, Nigeria cannot afford being declared a pariah nation,” the statement read in part.

The party accused the APC administration of overheating the nation’s polity leading to escalation of insecurity, killings, bloodletting and violence in the country.

“Nigerians would recall that ahead of the 2019 general elections, one of the leaders of the APC, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, had threatened that some of the foreign election monitors would be returned to their countries in body bags.

“Our party therefore demands that the Federal Government should listen to the voice of reason, end its misrule and desist from infringing on the rights of Nigerians as being witnessed in the illegal and vexatious ban on Twitter.

“Already, the PDP is perfecting processes for a legal action against the APC-led Federal Government’s suspension of Twitter and the directive to broadcasting stations to pull out of Twitter.

“In the same vein, our party is considering a directive to all our wards, local governments and state structure to commence peaceful civil protests against suspension of Twitter, the spate of insecurity and the failures of the Buhari administration,” the statement further read.

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