Twitter suspension, ambush on democracy – International Group
An international organization, De Norsemen Kclub has slammed the Federal Government over the recent suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.
The group described the development as an "unwarranted ambush on Nigeria’s developing democracy."
In a statement made available to Press by Chief Dr Adeshola Giwa, the International President of the organization, he said only a government that had something to hide would behave in such a manner.
He said the group was appalled that a government enthroned through the democratic process, and prides itself as an upholder of democratic principles, could take such brazenly unpopular decisions without recourse to democratic principles and constitutionality.
UK states position on suspension of Twitter in Nigeria
"De Norsemen Kclub International wishes to remind the Federal Government that a government that has nothing to hide is not afraid of free speech. The rule should be: Let the people express themselves and take responsibility for their expressions.
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"We want to emphasize that freedom of speech is an inalienable constitutional right of citizens. Citizens’ right to free expression is non-negotiable and it is only a court of competent jurisdiction, and not the fiat of government, that can determine when the expression of citizens runs foul of the law.
"There is no doubt that the Twitter suspension has sent the wrong signal that this government is intolerant to opposing views. This is antithetical to democratic inclusion. This unfortunate suspension has downgraded the already challenged image of the country, and will no doubt, scare away investors, and lead to the downturn of investment and employment generation," he stated.
Giwa told the government that the suspension of Twitter "is a mockery of itself, because Nigerian People are still tweeting through the use of VPN. This is to show that no amount of suppression and intimidation can cow Nigerian People. It is also an indication that the government cannot win the war against free speech.
"The suspension of Twitter affirms the shrinking of civic space. Democracy cannot thrive in a space where the government determines what should be said and how it should be said. A government that panics at the voice of dissent has seriously derailed the act of governance and the citizens should do the needful through the electoral process.
"De Norsemen Kclub International stands for free speech because the advantages, by far, outweigh the disadvantages. We, therefore, call for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the suspension on Twitter."
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