The Federal Governmentgovernment has insisted that continuous use of Twitter, in spite of its ban in Nigeria, is an offence.
It therefore vowed that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, would ensure that Nigerians who continue to access Twitter – including Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)- after its ban, would be prosecuted.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in an interview with BBC Africa Focus on Monday, when asked if Adeboye will be prosecuted for using Twitter, despite justifying his insistence on using the platform with Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Article 19 of the UDHR states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The Minister insisted in the interview that the persistent use of Twitter in Nigeria is undermining the country’s corporate existence.
“The government has suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence and the government,” he said.
He also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to “immediately commence the process of licencing all social media operations in Nigeria.”
According to him, Malami is in charge and has the final say on who or not to prosecute.
“The Attorney-General has made it clear that if anyone violates the regulation, that such person will be prosecuted. I think it is the right of the Attorney-General to decide who to prosecute,” he said.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Monday insisted on using his Twitter account despite the ban on the social media platform by the Nigerian government.
“The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories,” Adeboye tweeted on Monday. “The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.”
Similarly, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry ( DCLM), Pastor Williams Kumuyi, said the mission’s tweets were targeted at its global audience spread across five continents and over 100 nations.
“In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 nations and we share the content from any of these locations,” Kumuyi said.