From Nigeria’s foremost clergyman, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye came a clear message to the Federal government on Monday: “tweets are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights”.
Pastor Adeboye not only defied government ban on twitter, and by extension, dares the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN to arrest him, he took sides with millions of Nigerian youths that uses twitter, according to his promise to take more interest in the youths ministry after he lost his son, Pastor Dare a few weeks ago.
The revered cleric posted a tweet reacting to the ban of the microblogging platform.
He stated in his tweet: “The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories. The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights”.
The Federal Government had on Friday, June 4, announced the “indefinite” suspension of Twitter owing to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. A day after the ban, the Attorney General directed the Federal Director of Public Prosecutions (FDPP) to prosecute any Nigerian found in use of twitter.
The development led to the blocking of access to the micro-blogging platform by MTN, Globacom, Airtel, 9mobile, and other networks.
The decision to restrict access to the platform has elicited criticism from key stakeholders locally and internationally.
Amnesty International (AI) had asked the federal government to reverse its decision while the US, UK, Canada, and EU also condemned the development.
Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, met with the envoys of the three countries and the EU earlier on Monday. During the meeting, he said Nigeria is taking their concerns “very seriously”.
The minister said the platform will be restored only if it can be used “responsibly”.
“The condition would be a responsible use of the social media and that really has to be it,” he added. We are not saying that Twitter is threatening the country or any such thing; why we have taken this measure is to stop them to be used as platforms for destabilisation and facilitation of criminality or encouragement of criminalities.”