Legislature

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila led House of representatives rejects motion to lift twitter ban

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The joint committee mandated by the House of Representatives to investigate the ban placed on Twitter by the Federal Government has failed to recommend its lifting.

The Committees on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values; Telecommunications; Information and Technology; Justice; and National Security and Intelligence had laid the report on the investigation earlier on Wednesday.

At the plenary on Thursday, the report was listed for consideration.

In the report, the joint committee noted the pros and cons of social media but was silent on whether the ban should be lifted or not.

The recommendations are, “That time be allowed for the Federal Government of Nigeria and Twitter to enter into the dialogue process that is already ongoing, so as to create room for amicable settlement on the matter;

“That relevant Government Institutions such as National Broadcasting Commission, Nigeria Communication Satellite, etc., should be alive to their mandate by doing the needful to avoid future occurrence of this nature;

“That the Federal Government should take into cognisance the negative effect of the Twitter suspension on Nigerians who depends on the platform for their livelihood;

“That Federal Government should be proactive in their interface with Twitter so as to come up with timely resolution on the matter;

“That freedom of expression is not absolute anywhere in the world. This is because security and freedom of expression sometimes present contending interests. Therefore, national security must be guaranteed at all times as much as the right to free speech must be protected; and

“That government should always have communicated better with Nigerians when critical decisions are to be made.”

On June 8, 2021, House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila had mandated, the committees on Communication, Justice, Information and Culture; and National Security and Intelligence, to immediately commence an investigation into the suspension of the operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

The action followed Nigeria’s government twitter ban after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet on a threat of a repeat of the Biafran War was deleted by the micro-blogging site .

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