This position was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP); and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
The statement titled “NASS Joint Minority Caucus Asks Nigerians to Continue Using Twitter” described the ban as draconian and that many Nigerians are losing their source of livelihoods as a result of the decision.
The opposition lawmakers also dismissed threats by the government to arrest and prosecute Nigerians for using twitter, calling on Nigerians to “go ahead and use their Twitter (handles) as they would not be contravening any law in Nigeria or any international statute.”
The statement partly read, “As lawmakers, the joint caucus is pained by the anguish Nigerians, especially the youths, who find the use of twitter as a means of livelihood and genuine social interaction, are passing through just because the APC-led Federal Government feels slighted that an individual’s post, was deleted by Twitter for ethical violation.
“The joint caucus, therefore, calls on Nigerians to use various opportunities offered by technology and continue making use of twitter since such does not violate any law in our country.
“It is agonising that Nigeria and Nigerians have been losing billions of naira on a daily basis since the ban on Twitter. This is completely unacceptable as it is worsening the already biting economic hardship and frightening unemployment level in the country.
“Moreover, the ban on Twitter in Nigeria appears to be in favour of criminal and terrorist elements, whose activities fester in an environment of suppressed information flow.”
The caucus says it sympathise with the organised private sector, manufacturing and service providing companies; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; online businesses owners and other hard working entrepreneurs across the country, “whose genuine business and means of livelihood have been crippled by the unwarranted ban on Twitter by the APC Federal Government.”
“In the same vein, the joint caucus sympathises with regional, states, local government as well as members of the international community, whose genuine and constructive activities have been crippled by the prohibition of twitter in Nigeria
“It also identifies with traditional rulers, who have even found Twitter as a means of communicating with the constituents, especially in this era of insecurity in the country,” the statement added.
The Joint Caucus vehemently berates the APC-led government for abandoning its duty of addressing the serious economic and security problems confronting our nation to rather focus on dissipating energy victimizing Nigerians over their disagreement with Twitter for deleting a post by an individual.
The Caucus thereafter counsels the Federal Government to swallow its pride, accept its misdoing and go and settle whatever issue it has with Twitter instead of this resort to inflicting pains on Nigerians.